The sheets, the clanking chains, the loud "BOO!"s—so old school: Today's ghosts haunt today's homes. There's the unseen television ghost, who "sits down right next to you" on the sofa and suddenly grabs you if something scary comes on, and the ghost in the telephone ("Dring! A ring, and then nothing") and the miserable, water-hating bathroom ghost. These and others form this gallery of modern spooks who will give children with hyperactive imaginations a whole new set of anxieties. Still, except for the malicious ghost of the night, most of Goldie's spooks are actually retiring sorts or at worst, mildly mischievous; some, such as the ghosts of the library and the garden, are even shy. Usually visible, if translucent or just outlines in Boutavant's modernistic domestic scenes, the specters generally resemble small, unfrightening teddy bears or cats. They are presented, in a narrative that is often colored, angled and shaped to fit onto walls and furniture in the illustrations, by a cheery ectoplasmic host who closes with an invitation to a household ghost party. When? Why, tonight! Where? Guess. Perhaps best saved for the daytime, though the light tone will keep the chills on the mild side.
Sonia Goldie is a author of both fiction and nonfiction books for children.
A wildly sought-after, award-winning author and illustrator, Marc Boutavant is not only a talented book creator, but a regular contributor of editorial illustrations to international newspapers and magazines as well. He is best known for two popular series, Ariol and Mouk, whose characters have each been adapted into an animated TV series. Boutavant’s characters, cartoons, and picture books have been him famous in France and popular throughout the world. His Ariol books are just being published in English for the first time this fall by Papercutz. Another book in English for the first time and available this month is Ghosts, published by Enchanted Lion Books. Around the World With Mouk, published in English several years ago by Chronicle, remains a popular title.
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