There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers, Philomel Books, 2021. 9780593466186

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? About the illustrations in this book Oliver Jeffers says “The art for this book was made with trial, error and curiosity; years of collecting old architectural reference books and furniture catalogues, and countless hours of looking through them for various specific details; some engineering and editing skills for how to make the story fit and flow around the structure of folding the tracing sheets into the book; some digital compositing magic; then, after all that, with a bit of paint and a belief in ghosts.”

This is an amazingly ingenious and mysterious story.  A little girl welcomes you into her house that she has been told has ghosts.  She takes you from room to room never finding one – but you do. Each full-page illustration can be covered with a magical page that reveals ghosts.  Kids will love seeing the ghosts which the little girl cannot.  The little girl appears in a striped dress of grey and lime green with bluish skin and deep teal hair, the only color with a background of the interior of very old houses.  Jeffers pictures her going through the central hall while describing what a central hall would have looked like in 1760.  Other rooms are provided with history as well.  The book really must be seen to be fully appreciated.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a nice non-scary ghost entry for kids anytime but particularly around Halloween.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries, kindergartens- through grade 1, day-care centers

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: October 27, 2021

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