These two picture books have been keeping me entertained recently.
The first one is Ghost in the House by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Adam Record.
Ghost in the House is so much fun. It starts with a Boo! and a ghost all alone in a creepy house. Or is he? There’s a noise and a clue to what else might be in the house.
And so it continues until a motley assortment of things that go bump in the night have assembled. But there’s a final twist as the monsters encounter something that gives them a scare.
But it isn’t really scary – all the monsters have sweet smiling faces and seem very happy to see each other. I love the skeleton, and the monster, and the ghost…well, all of them actually. I can’t help but think that they would make very cute little toys.
The illustrations appeal to me lots. They’re quite simple, but with lots of expression. The backgrounds have some nice textures and I love all the greens and greys.
The words have a lovely rhythm for reading aloud; there’s repetition and words to have fun with, such as growl and groan. They also build up to the twist at the end.
Then there's No Such Thing by Ella Bailey.
Oh, this book is just charming. Georgia is a practical young girl who can find a reasonable explanation for all the strange things happening in her house. She refuses to believe that anything spooky is happening, as quite simply there are no such thing as ghosts. Her little black cat isn’t quite so sure, and we get to see for ourselves who the real culprits are.
I love everything about this book. The story is great; Georgia blames everyone in the house for the mischief. This is another one that comes to life when read aloud. The colours are gorgeously chalky and the pictures have a retro feel to them – maybe a little ‘60s? Anyway, I adore them.
What’s really fun about No Such Thing is hunting out the ghosts on each page. My colleague and I have poured over the pages gleefully pointing out ghosts to each other. Children might like it too, I guess!
Both books are coming along to our family Halloween party later today, and I’m hoping I can persuade Niece Number 1 to read them to us all. If not, I’ll just have to do it myself!
Ghost in the House is from Walker Books and is available in paperback. No Such Thing is published by Flying Eye Books and is a hardback. I bought them both from Foyles.