Monday, 23 September 2013

The Ghost Library by David Melling (Hachette - Re-issue with 'glow in the dark' cover)

The Ghost Library

Written and Illustrated by
David Melling

Published by Hachette

A book that celebrates a love of stories, and libraries - and mixes it with supernatural spooky goings on? What's not to love?

David Melling's "The Ghost Library" tells the story of a little girl, Bo, and her love of books. One evening as she's snuggling down with her favourite story about a witch with really stinky feet, there's a cold wind, a howling noise, and before she knows what's happening, Bo is whisked off to...THE GHOST LIBRARY!

But it's an odd sort of library. There are no books, in fact the ghosts who run it only temporarily borrow children's books to stock their shelves - and as Bo demonstrates, children are very good at hanging onto their books!

The three ghosts responsible are hugely apologetic, but make the best of the rare occasion of having visitors to ask Bo to tell them a story. Soon they realise that perhaps the best way to fill the library would be with stories of their own, and all the ghosts rally round to fill those shelves.

We loved the fact that at times, the story dips out into wordless 'comic strip' spreads that allow Charlotte to tell the stories in her own words. The power of wordless books is definitely undeniable and sometimes it's hilarious to hear what children say when they're presented with a series of images, and start to put their own story to them.

Melling's trademark inventiveness with characters and situations shines through. We loved the fact that the ghosts sometimes appear to be 'stuck' in the scenery, half poking out of walls and protruding through the empty library shelves. The real star though is Bo, a book-loving little girl not a million miles away from my own little bookworm. Lovely!

Charlotte's best bit: Narrating the story of the witch with really stinky feet in her own words.

Daddy's Favourite bit: Great characters, and how could we possibly NOT love a book that champions stories and libraries - however ghostly!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Hachette)