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Zombie day at the library

Thu., Aug. 22, 2013, midnight

Lauren Church, 10, gets her face made up zombie style by Spokane Valley Branch librarian Sonia Gustafson on Tuesday during a zombie program for children. (Dan Pelle)
Lauren Church, 10, gets her face made up zombie style by Spokane Valley Branch librarian Sonia Gustafson on Tuesday during a zombie program for children. (Dan Pelle)

It’s pop culture’s Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombies are enjoying a heyday. There is a whole line of zombie literature, movies, television shows and, in Spokane, a zombie-themed doughnut shop. The Center for Disease Control has a whole webpage dedicated to zombie preparedness.

At the Spokane Valley Library on Tuesday, zombies took center stage as children from sixth grade through the 12th learned how to apply makeup to look like the undead, decorated cupcakes to look like tasty, worm-infested brains and learned about books they could read that feature zombies.

Librarian Cindy Ulrey said her favorite zombie-themed book series is the “Rot and Ruin” books by Jonathan Maberry.

“It’s grief and loss and the coming of age set in the Zombie Apocalypse,” Ulrey said.

Zombie day is one of many programs the Spokane County Library District offers children throughout the year. Librarian Sonia Gustafson said they have enjoyed visits from the Mobius Science Center, a magician, a singer who led kids in songs about the Oregon Trail, and a man from New Mexico who went by the name of “Indiana Bones,” who taught the children about archaeology, myths and legends. On Saturday at the Deer Park branch there will be an outdoor family concert at 3 p.m. featuring the band Jenks.

Children started their afternoon by watching a video of the makeup artists from the television show “The Walking Dead” to get tips about turning themselves into zombies. Ulrey told them they can use items they find in their own homes to create some of the looks they see on TV.

She said fake blood is a fairly easy recipe, using corn syrup, chocolate syrup and red food-coloring, although, they wouldn’t be using any of it at the library.

“It stains like crazy,” she said.

They can also use Elmer’s glue to work in place of liquid latex if they mix it with some water, use gelatin to make scars, and a tissue-and-Elmer’s- concoction to make rough-looking patches of skin. Gustafson said if they want to put a bruise on their face or neck they can use a little green face paint, followed by some yellow face paint over the top of that and purple paint around the edges.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the ‘Walking Dead,’ ” said J’Lee Schneider, who will start at Evergreen Middle School next month.

Most of the kids at the library, although they seemed to be 11 or 12 years old, had their own favorite zombie movie.

Egann Willis, 11, didn’t have to learn how to turn himself into a zombie – he came to the library in full makeup, wearing a T-shirt splattered with fake blood.

“I just rushed,” he said of his makeup. “I was running late.”

Along with the fun of makeup and cupcakes, there was a corner set up for the kids to write their own zombie haiku, with examples from the books, “Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your…Brains,” and “Dawn of Zombie Haiku,” both by Ryan Mecum.

The kids all wrapped up the afternoon learning the dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Belle Anselmo, 11, will attend Horizon Middle School next month. She said she has seen “Night of the Living Dead,” but really isn’t into zombies.

“I’m more of a ghost person,” she said.

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