Title: Ghosts in the House
Author/Illustrator: Kazuno Kohara
Synopsis: A witch moves into a haunted house and has a surprising way of dealing with all the ghostly inhabitants.
The Low Down:
I love limited colors in picture books. Don’t get me wrong, multiple, vibrant colors are fabulous but there’s something so wonderfully understated and dramatic about a book that only uses three colors. Ghosts in the House is no exception with it’s fabulous illustrations and adorable story twist. It’s been referenced countless times this month as we’ve prepared for Halloween and I can foresee it being a lifetime favorite.
The story begins with a girl moving into a haunted house filled with moaning groaning ghosts. But the girl turns out to be a witch and the ghosts don’t bother her one bit. With a can-do attitude she’s set about capturing all of the ghosts. Then in a fantastic turn of events she throws them all in the wash. Once they’re clean and dry she sets about using them as curtains, tablecloths, and blankets. It all ends with the little witch snuggling up and going to sleep, her ghost blanket asleep as well.
The ghosts are the shining stars of this story. Using some amazing technique, the paper they’re made with is a bit different than the rest of the pages. They pop off the page with their whiteness and still are slightly translucent. When we are first introduced to them in their free-roaming form some are happy, some are moany, and some a little disgruntled but once they’ve been caught, cleaned, and put to use they all wear cheerful smiles. The rest of the illustrations look as though they could be papercuts on silhouette paper and have a very vintage feel to them. Friendly an cheerful the whole way through this is a great book that shys away from the spooky and focuses on the fun.
Quite possibly my new favorite Halloween book, Ghosts in the House is spectacular on all levels. The story is sweet and unique. Plus the creative problem solving is very smile inducing (or in Bug’s case: giggle-inducing). As for the illustrations, they draw the readers in with they’re dramatic edge and keep them entranced with their cheerfulness. Perfectly spot on. If I had to complain about one thing it’s that I always think about how much laundry I have to do whenever I read it. But who has time for laundry when there are such awesome books to read?
- Pretend to help the little witch scoop up the ghosts as she goes through the house.
- In the UK the title is Haunted House
I need more!
The Midnight Library and Jack Frost, both great titles by Kazuno Kohara have the same kind of vibe. Check out more of her work via Amazon or Google.
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