Friday, August 21, 2020

Review - Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost
by Flavia Z. Dragó
Date: 2020
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

This winning debut picture book from Mexican artist Flavia Z. Drago about finding the courage to make friends is perfect for the spooky season — or anytime.

Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. And he loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye scream or making friends with other monsters. Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves? With fancifully detailed artwork and visual humor, debut picture-book creator Flavia Z. Drago’s vivid illustrations tell a sweet and gently offbeat story of loneliness, bravery, and friendship that is sure to be a treat for little ghouls and goblins everywhere.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a book about friendship and overcoming shyness, cast with a variety of paranormal creatures.

Gustavo is a ghost. He's a talented spook who plays the violin. But when it comes to making friends, he's not quite as adept. He's simply too shy! And a little bit invisible. Feeling brave, he decides to hold a violin concert and invite all the monsters he wishes would be his friends. Will his risk pay off?

I can see this being a good selection for the upcoming spooky season. It talks about the Day of the Dead, but it would probably fit in on a Halloween shelf, too. The variety of monsters is fun and creative, and the illustrations are engaging.

Overall, this is a strong picture book about using your strengths to overcome your weaknesses.

Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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