Thursday, March 19, 2009

review: Ghosts in the House

Ghosts in the House! written and illustrated by Kazuno Kohara. Roaring Brook, 2008 (978-1-59643-427-1) $12.95

With its palette of black and orange and ghostly white, this book just calls out "Halloween," but it also has another message: Take charge of your fears. A little girl goes to live in a splendid old house at the edge of town and discovers it's HAUNTED! But no problem: the girl whips out her witch's hat, her white cat whips out a black witch-cat costume, and the two fly off on her broomstick to catch the ghosts. Soon each ghost has been washed, hung out to dry--smiling ghost faces indicate this is quite fun--and are put to use around the house, as curtains, tablecloths, and cozy throws. "And they all lived happily ever after," with the girl and cat sleeping under ghost blankets, which are also peacefully sleeping.

Flat, almost monochromatic linocuts are very striking, entirely orange and black with heavy black and orange outlines, except for the delightfully see-through white ghosts. The matter-of-fact air with which the witch girl tames the ghosts, and their simple cheerfulness, are equally appealing. (3-6)

© 2009 Wendy E. Betts

Other blog reviews:

The Planet Esme Plan

Bees Knees Reads

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