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Peanut Butter & Brains A Zombie Culinary Tale

Peanut Butter & Brains

A Zombie Culinary Tale

By Joe McGee
Illustrator Charles Santoso


Price: $16.95

  • Additional formats:
  • Publication Date: August 11, 2015
  • Imprint: Abrams Books for Young Readers
  • Trim Size: 10 12 x 8 12
  • ISBN: 9781419712470
  • Page Count: 32
  • Illustrations: Full-color illustrations
  • Rights: World English

Reginald isn’t like the other zombies who shuffle through Quirkville, scaring the townspeople and moaning for BRAINSSSSS! The only thing Reginald’s stomach rumbles for is sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly. He tries to tell his zombie pals that there’s more to life than eating brains, but they’re just not interested. Will Reginald find a way to bring peace to Quirkville and convince the other zombies that there’s nothing better than PB&J?

Debut author Joe McGee and up-and-coming illustrator Charles Santoso have created a delicious tale about being true to yourself that will make readers hungry for more.


"Santoso’s ink-and-watercolor drawings..strike a successful silly-scary balance...Striking a reportorial tone, newcomer McGee gets substantial comic mileage out of repeating the word 'brains'—or 'brainsssss,' as it’s evocatively spelled at several points."
Publishers Weekly
"Run, don't shamble, to get this original zombie tale."
Kirkus Reviews
"The illustrations’ rounded shapes and pastel watercolor washes portray zombies who are more cute than scary, and full of personality. Signs and balloons with images of brains inside cleverly communicate the zombies’ food preferences in a nonverbal way."
The Horn Book Magazine

About the author

Joe McGee is the author of the picture book Peanut Butter & Brains (Abrams 2015), of which Kirkus Reviews said “Run, don’t shamble to get this original zombie tale.” The New York Times praised it for “amusingly unit[ing] the seemingly unrelated contemporary obsessions of zombies and food,” and The Washington Post noted “Joe McGee keeps the story moving with flowing and engaging text.” Aliens and Jelly, a follow up to Peanut Butter and Brains, is scheduled for Fall 2017. Abrams will be publishing a third, as yet untitled, picture book in Fall 2018.

McGee’s writing has garnered many awards, including the 2014 Vermont College of Fine Arts Holy Smokes! short story award; the 2013 Vermont College of Fine Arts Critical Essay award; and a Vermont College of Fine Arts merit scholarship. Bestselling author and Printz Honoree, A.S. King, called McGee’s young adult short story, Leaves of Brass, “one of the best short stories” she’d ever read. National Book Award finalist and Newberry Honor recipient, Kathi Appelt, said his short story, Tooth Fairy, was “one of the most authentic child’s voices” she’d ever read.” McGee was the recipient of the 2012 Medallion Award for an outstanding graduate writing student at Rowan University, and the winner of the 2012 Denise Gess Literary Prize for Poetry. He was awarded 1st place honors in fiction, short story writing, YA/teen writing, and poetry from The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. As well, McGee’s young adult short story, Ink Soul, won 2nd place in the 2011 national Writer’s Digest genre fiction awards. He has an MA in Writing, from Rowan University, and his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

McGee teaches Creative Writing at Rowan University and is one of the core faculty launching the new Sierra Nevada College low-residency MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults beginning August 2016. McGee is a former airborne Army platoon leader, an amateur cartoonist, and the father of three boys, ages 15, 12, and 9. He lives in rural Pennsylvania, with a view of a centuries-old cemetery from his office window.
You can follow him on Twitter at @mcgeejp or visit his website at

Charles Santoso is a concept artist and illustrator currently living in Sydney, Australia. His work has been exhibited in Australia, North America, and France.