TITLE: Ghosts in the House!
AUTHOR + ILLUSTRATOR: Kazuno Kohara
PUBLISHED BY: Roaring Brook Press, 2008
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2008, Ghosts in the House is truly one of the most delightful Halloween picture books in print. This plucky your girl moves into a house on the edge of town. "It was a splendid place but there was one problem. The house was...haunted!" Not giving in to her fears, she knows exactly what to do, and quickly settles down to cleaning and doing the laundry (though the ghosts manage to interfere at times).
The real joy of the book is the illustrations. Kohara's three color linocuts are completely charming. As you can see in these images, and in the image I used above for the spook week banner, she makes her ghosts eerily (but cheerfully) translucent.
Halloween is a great time for kids in so many ways. As Christians, we can remind our children of it's history and honor the saints and holy souls who have come before us. On the more playful side: it gives us all an excuse to dress up. And it is one of the last few events that brings together an entire community.
It also provides an opportunity to address the subject of fear. There are only two good responses to fear: buck up and get to work, and say a little prayer. Books like Ghosts in the House! and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything teach us that first lesson with wit and charm, and really silly images.
It up to you parents to instill the second response.
(Be sure to check out all my favorite Halloween titles in the Little Lamb Books Bookshop, and remember 10% of all proceeds go to literacy charities.)