Here is our October – December 2021 reading theme:
Horror and Deliverance In Books
We are on the look-out for books that fit the following deliberately-nebulous criteria:
- horror and scary stories
- everyday horrors that human beings face and conquer
- monsters and monstrosity
- stories that provide deliverance and redemption
- tales that show both darkness and light
It appears like Casper is not the only friendly ghost. Meet Leo and Oscar in these two picturebooks featuring friend-seeking ghosts.
Leo: A Ghost Story [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written by Mac Barnett Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Chronicle Books (2015) ISBN: 9781452131566 (ISBN10: 1452131562) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.
Leo, the friendly ghost, was driven from his old home when a new family moved in and misunderstood his warm intentions of welcoming them with “mint tea and honey toast.”
Leo is not the type to force himself onto anyone. He just wanted a friend. He has a very gentle disposition, and quite dapper too, if that bowtie is any indication. It took awhile but he finally found a young girl, Jane, who did not see through him but actually saw him.
Jane, however, thought that Leo was an ‘imaginary friend,’ until something happened that made Jane fully realize the nature of who Leo is. I shall leave the moment of revelation for your young readers to discover. This is a charming and light-hearted story about accepting supernatural encounters for what they are.
Oscar Seeks A Friend [Amazon | Book Depository]
Written and Illustrated by Paweł Pawlak Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Original Title: Ignatek szuka przyjaciela Published by Lantana Publishing (2019)
ISBN: 9781911373797 (ISBN10: 191137379X) Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
Oscar, the friendly skeleton, lost a tooth. He felt devastated because he felt he won’t be able to find a friend without one, looking all dreadful and scary. As luck would have it, he found a little girl burying a tooth. Oscar took a chance and asked whether he can have her tooth so that he would look less frightening. The reaction of the girl as seen in the below image amused me to no end.
What made this story infinitely entertaining for me was how the nature of their realities was never questioned, such that befriending a skeleton who lost his tooth seemed perfectly commonplace.
Together, they introduced each other’s world to one another: things that they both would love to share with a friend, such as rainbows and a library filled with books waiting to be read, not realizing that in so doing, they both found what they were looking for.
The image above is my favourite. I didn’t realize skeletons could go on reading the books they failed to read in their lifetime. This is comforting for a bibliophile like me. What a delight to finally meet a book-loving skeleton, and in a Polish picturebook, no less.
#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 102-103 out of target 100