It is the week of Halloween and our street is already verging on disgusting with all the creepy, crawly decor. I’m not much of a Halloween fan, especially of the gross and terrifying stuff. But I do like hanging out with friends, eating fun treats, wearing great costumes, and clever decorations. I love themed things. So today I want to do a group pairing with a ghostly theme perfect for Halloween. Two of them aren’t technically Halloween books, but ghosts are always appropriate for the occasion and so I think they work. Join me in reading three lovely books celebrating one of the famous characters of the holiday. Let’s read three books about ghosts!
1. Miffy the Ghost by Dick Bruna, 2001
I have mentioned before that I am a massive fan of Dick Bruna’s books, and even this ghostly themed one is no exception. It cracks me up in its simplicity, naivety and sheer cuteness.
One day, Miffy comes to her mother and requests that she be able to dress as a ghost. Her mother thought it a fun idea and helps Miffy make a costume from an old sheet. The result makes Miffy laugh, but draws a different reaction from her friends and favorite aunt. This is a humorous, pretty harmless story that touches at the fun of dressing up and also the joy of being with friends and family. In the end, Miffy declares it a good ghost day and Dick Bruna’s minimal illustrations and bright colors make it a fun and delightful read for the holiday.
2. No Such Thing by Ella Bailey, 2014
I actually discovered and wrote about this book last Halloween and it still remains a favorite for the holiday. It is a clever book about a cynical girl, unexplained messes & mishaps around her home, and her refusal to believe in ghosts.
I love the modern styling of the story and delight in finding the little ghosts hidden throughout. They are the troublemakers of the story and we love to spot them even though the protagonist, Georgia, seems unable (or unwilling) to find them herself. This is the true Halloween themed book in the group, but it nods to the holiday in a delightful, not scary, sneaky kind of way that makes me a true fan.
3. Leo a Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, pictures by Christian Robinson, 2015
This is a brand new book, out just in time for the October spookfest that tends to abound. It is not at all a book about Halloween, but the protagonist is actually a ghost himself. It is a slightly bizarre, delightfully sweet, and charmingly illustrated story from a spectacular picture book duo. Any book with the name Mac Barnett or Christian Robinson on it is worth your time to peruse, and the combination of the two with this book is quite a treat.
Leo is a boy who happens to be a ghost and finds himself suddenly unwanted in his usually haunted home. He sets out to find a new home and hopefully a friend. But no one can see him, well, except a playful little girl named Jane which is a surprise even to Leo. This story has heart, humor, and a bit of mystery around the events and conclusions. It is a fun one to read and ponder, especially while ghosts abound for the holiday.
I hope you enjoy this ghostly trio as much as we do. And I’d love to know other ghost-themed or mild Halloween books. Happy spooky reading!