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Pickles vs the Zombies 

(part of the Tails from the Apocalypse series)

The Tails from the Apocalypse series follows a band of awesome animals as they make their way through the human apocalypse. In this world, the humans are the pets, and the animals they live with are their protectors. The first book in the series, Pickles vs the Zombies, is told from the point of view of Pickles the calico cat. Pickles vs the Zombies won the 2021 Hackmatack Award for best kids fiction and was short-listed for the Manitoba Book Awards. The second book in the series, Trip of the Dead, is told from the point of view of Trip the raccoon who was part of Pickles' fellowship in the first book. The third book in the series is told from the point of view of fan favourite, Emmy the hamster and is appropriately called ValHamster.

Looking for a discussion guide for your classroom? Check this out.

Below, read more about the characters you have come to love.

Paperback version of 
Pickles vs the Zombies
Audiobook version of 
Pickles vs the Zombies
Paperback version of 
Trip of the Dead
Paperback version of 
Pickles: the leader

Genus/Species:  Felis catus
Human Age: 3
Feline Age: 15
Weight: 3.6kg
Gender: Female

Physical Description: Calico cat with orange, black and white markings, amber coloured eyes, pink nose.

Best quote:“Shh! I hear humans!”

Pickles is the most loyal, brave, inventive cat you will ever meet.

Wally: the old guard

Genus/Species:  Felis catus
Human Age: 9
Feline Age: 40
Gender: Male
Weight: 5kg

Physical Description: Long-haired Siberian grey cat with gold coloured eyes, and a grey nose.

Best quote:“Well, I’ll be a long-haired Siamese!”

Wally is smart, methodical and loyal to a fault. He leaves no man (or cat) behind.

Trip: the negotiator

Genus/Species: Procyon lotor
Human Age: 4
Raccoon Age: 16
Weight: 9kg

Physical Description: North American raccoon with a grey/brown body, black mask, black paws and a striped tail.

Best quote:“You’re like a buffet of pretty colors!”

Trip is an irrepressible optimist with a faith in humanity and mammals that doesn’t make sense based on his background. He is led around by two organs that are in constant conflict: his stomach and his heart.

Ginger: the diva

Genus/Species: Felis catus
Human Age: 4
Feline Age: 20
Weight: 4kg
Physical Description: Short-haired American cat with orange fur, gold coloured eyes, white sock feet and a pink nose.

Best quote: “Easy peasy, nip and cheesy!”


Ginger loves himself more than anyone else, but starts to change his stripes following Pickles on her quest.

Hannah: the mysterious

Genus/Species: Felis catus
Human Age: 3
Feline Age: 15
Gender: Female
Weight: 3kg
Physical Description: Short-haired Abyssinian cat with ticked orange fur, green eyes, sharp triangular ears and an orange nose.
Best quote:“You on your own, little lady?””


Hannah is an outsider who is too used to being kicked out of the way and abandoned. She has trust issues and a bit of a complex about being alone.

Emmy: the berserker

Genus/Species:  Phodopus campbelli
Human Age: 6 months
Hamster Age: 35
Gender: Non binary
Weight: 0.5kg
Physical Description: Dwarf hamster with brown fur, black eyes and a pink nose.

Best quote: “Zombies don’t talk!”

Despite recovering from PTSD at her dogs’ deaths, Emmy is a fearless warrior who thinks of others before herself, throwing herself into battle in odds that would terrify any other animal.

Pallas: the sensitive

Genus/Species:  Athene cunicularia hypugaea
Human Age: 6 months
Owl Age: 8 years
Gender: Male
Weight: 0.5kg
Physical Description: Canadian burrowing owl, with a dark beak, golden eyes and multicoloured brown feathers.

Best quote:“…she was nothing but loving to me.”

Abandoned nearly at birth, Pallas has led a sheltered life, leaving the nest only to gather food. Nonetheless, Pallas forms a bond with Emmy almost immediately and will do anything to keep her safe.

Diana: the diplomat

Genus/Species:  Caninus Canae
Human Age: 4 years
Dog Age: 12 years
Gender: Female
Weight: 9kg
Physical Description: Pembroke Welsh Corgi with white socked feet, a white chest and a bright orange coat.

Best quote:“It’s a thing they do to corgi pups. Don’t ask me why. They think it makes us look cute. I think I’d rather have my tail than look cute.”

Once an award-winning show dog (a dog that participates in contests with other dogs and wins ribbons for things like obedience and prettiness) Diana was abandoned by her owner when she lost a show. She was left tied to a chair at the event, and when she got free, she had to learn to take care of herself for the first time in her life. When the zombies appeared, she had to adapt again, this time allying herself with a group of humans she thought would love her. When she meets Trip on his adventure, she discovers she has been fooled again into believing in her humans.

Malone: the realist

Genus/Species:  Erinaceus europaeus
Human Age: 87 years
Hedgehog Age: 8 years
Gender: Male
Weight: 50 ounces

Physical Description: European common hedgehog with a black nose.


Best quote:“What? That lanky orange cat that walks around on his tippy toes? Don’t be daft, laddie. He wouldna know how to unwind a keg from a pile let alone how to detach a cat from lumber!”

Malone is an old hedgehog who was born in Scotland but but was brought to Canada as part of a petting zoo. He lost his wife, Arin, a few years ago, before the zombies appeared, but lived a good life before the apocalypse struck.

Sonar: the rebel

Genus/Species:  Felis catus
Human Age: 5
Feline Age: 1
Weight: 2.6kg
Gender: Female

Physical Description: Black kitten with large eyes and big paws.

Best quote:“General Wally sent me out here with this fanny pack thingy for Mr. Trip and told me to help him on his mission.”

Sonar is ambitious and without fear, determined to impress everyone with his daring and to prove that just because he's a kitten, doesn't mean he can't save the world.

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