Friday, 23 October 2015
ReaditDaddy's First book of the Week - Week Ending 23/10/2015 - "Leo: A Ghost Story" by Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson (Chronicle)
We've often lamented the fact that there aren't that many ghost stories for children around any more. So it's been a rare treat to meet one in a new book from Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson, one that tips his hat firmly to modern masters of children's storytelling like Jon Klassen, while at the same time paying homage to the greats like Ezra Jack Keats and Crockett Johnson.
"Leo: A Ghost Story" starts with a small child ghost who lives all on his own in a big breezy rattletrap of an old house. Leo wants for nothing though he's very lonely. The house is full of interesting things to do, and Leo has got used to life on his own.
But before you can say "BOO!" a new family has moved in, and they really don't like the idea of sharing house with a supernatural squirt, no matter how friendly and charming he is.
Leo is left with no choice but to leave his comfy home and turn into a roaming spirit with no place to call his own.
As luck would have it though, Leo (who is usually invisible to everyone) is somehow 'seen' by a little girl who - though rather bossy at first - takes a shine to our spooky little pal, and the two become firm friends.
Leo isn't sure that he knows how to break it to the little girl that he's not her imaginary friend, but a real ghost. Will she forgive him for hiding his ghostliness from her?
We have truly loved this book from the moment we started reading it, to the moment we finished and flipped straight back to page one for another read. It's the sort of book that successfully tugs on the same heart strings that Pixar movies do, while at the same time feeling like it's had a space reserved in your book case ever since children's books began. Mac's story is beautifully paced, and Christian's illustrations have that groovy 60s "American Golden Age" vibe to them that is (for us) utterly impossible to resist.
Totally and completely wonderful in every way. Let Leo into your book nook and into your hearts!
Charlotte's favourite bit: The little girl who has her very own "round table" full of brave knights
Daddy's favourite bit: An utterly wonderful and heart warming ghost story, just perfect for this time of year. Leo is absolutely brilliant!
(Kindly sent to us for review by Chronicle)
"Leo: A Ghost Story"
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Chronicle
Publication Date: 25th September 2015