[Monday Reading] Mysterious Ghosts in Picturebooks


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). 

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:

  1. horror and scary stories
  2. everyday horrors that human beings face and conquer
  3. monsters and monstrosity
  4. stories that provide deliverance and redemption
  5. tales that show both darkness and light

These two picturebooks feature mysterious ghosts – one that became a quilt, and the other one a mysterious wisp from the sea.

The Little Ghost Who Was A Quilt [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Riel Nason Illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler
Published by Tundra Books (2020) ISBN: 9780735264472 (ISBN10: 0735264473). Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

This little ghost is unlike any other. While other ghosts were the scary whooshing white sheets that people are used to, this one is heavily weighted and was a “slow flyer” which is not surprising, given its quilted nature.

I did not realize that there were “others” among the ghost community. This little ghost who was a quilt was inevitably ostracized by other ghosts, called names, and mocked for his heaviness and being different from everyone else.

Despite being told by his parents that he belonged to a line of ghosts who were different: one ancestor being a checkered tablecloth while another was “an elegant lace curtain,” it did not really comfort him at all.

That is, until he found his purpose one Halloween night that made him rethink his ‘differentness’ and realize its value. This is a lovely story that surfaces the nature of otherness in a supernatural setting. Quite ingenious, I thought.

Girl From The Sea [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Margaret Wild Illustrated by Jane Tanner
Published by Allen & Unwin (2020)
ISBN: 9781760524302 Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Margaret Wild always comes up with the most haunting narratives, and this is definitely one of them.

True to its title, this girl’s ghost appears to have emerged from a shipwreck, and she is searching for a home.

Juxtaposed with this ghost girl’s search for a home is an idyllic, picture-perfect family living in a cottage by the sea. The story revolves around the ghost girl’s longing for a family that she does not have any longer.

The images are eerie as the ghost girl attempts to insinuate herself to a home that isn’t hers. Yet, rather than appearing ominous, there is a sadness to the narrative that makes the reader empathize with the ghost girl and all that she has lost.

Needless to say, this is a ghost story that is beautifully wrought and will remain with the reader for a long time to come. 

November 1, 2021 at 06:30AM Myra Garces-Bacsal