Ghosts are People Too - Peter Ricq
In his debut publication, Peter Ricq introduces us to Ethan Alby, a ghost who lives among us "spooky living people" and who genuinely wants to be friends. Charming and tongue-in-cheek text is paired with pointillism art giving the book a film noir meets Tim Burton mood and aesthetic.
Ethan Alby, for all intents and purposes, is a regular child with a family, a pet dog, a favorite pastime, and even a crush. Except he's a ghost. And as a ghost, there is one thing he would like to improve: understanding between ghosts and "spooky living people." Drawing on the very root of storytelling: explaining the unexplainable, Ethan describes situations that readers will recognize as regular activities for "spooky living people" and be charmed with his interpretations of them. They will also wonder if it was their resident ghost who might have snapped their favorite toy in two, or changed the T.V. channel suddenly.
My Review: A spooky picture book for children with a newly emerging gothic personality, or for those little ones who are afraid of ghosts. Ethan resembles a character of the Addams family, who is friendly and misunderstood. What better way to teach a young child they shouldn't be afraid of ghosts than from the words of a ghost their age? The illustrations are monochromatic, and they remind me of a Tim Burton movie. It's nothing like "horror for children" but more like something they would read on Halloween.
Something else I really enjoyed were the ghost stories that stemmed from the experiences of real people. They are all simplified and present ghosts helping living people, one of them even saving them from a terrible death. The end of the book has 3 pages where the young readers can describe their own ghost encounters and draw the story. A few pages are reserved for gadgets that children can use to detect ghosts in the house. It's a very enjoyable little book that has the potential to help them not be afraid and it enhances their level of empathy.
Publisher: Eye of Newt Books (26 May 2022)
Hardcover: 44 pages
Reading age: 7 - 10 years
Review copy provided by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution @ Edelweiss+