Author/Illustrator: Ben Clanton
Age Group: 2-5
Synopsis: Boo is the newest member of the group but trouble fitting in and playing the same games as the others.
The Low Down:
Rex Wrecks It was a big hit in our house. So when I saw that there was a new book out from Ben Clanton and one featuring a ghost I was thrilled but not nearly as much as Bug. While Clanton doesn’t break any molds with the plot for Boo Who?, he does deliver what we’ve come to expect: a story with a great message, peppered with silliness and fun illustrations. And it’s perfect for little ones that aren’t really ready for the spookier aspects of Halloween.The tone of the book is set when Boo is mistakenly introduced on a blank page. The narrator is then nervously corrected by this hesitant little ghost. Boo then makes his way to the gang (Gizmo, the robot; Rex, the T-Rex; Sprinkles, the bunny-unicorn; and Wild, the monster). They’re all friendly and ask him to join in they’re game of ball but when the ball goes right through Boo, they realize they’ve hit a snag. A succession of new games are tried, each resulting in the same disappointment. Boo wonders if anyone would even care if he just disappeared. But then they hit on a game that Boo can not only play but exceed at: Hide-and-Seek. Boo finds his niche and there in finds his sense of belonging.Clanton’s style very much mirrors Rex Wrecks It (obviously) and I find that Boo has a bit of Jelly in him too from Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea. With simple lines and settings, this story is perfect for younger ones who can still be easily distracted by too many details. The characters are ever friendly and adorable with a little something for everyone, whether your child is interested in robots, dinosaurs, unicorns, or monsters and ghosts. Boo, himself, is drawn in such a friendly and soft manner that he’s perfect for more sensitive little ones who aren’t ready for the spooky/scary themes of Halloween.With a story that showcases the values of friendship, acceptance, and support, this story elevates itself from just a once a year, Halloween-treat, to something that can be on the bookshelf all year long. Paired with Clanton’s signature silliness and bright fresh illustrations, the book is a welcome sight in our house and one that Bug routinely requests. I’m torn about whether it will go into our Halloween box when the time for taking decorations down comes but either way it’ll be a treat, every time we read it.
- Try reading each character with a silly voice.
- Let your little one assist in the story-telling process by describing how they think Boo is feeling.
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