FICTION

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

Candlewick. Jul. 2020. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781536211146.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 2–A cute ghost named Gustavo learns to overcome social anxiety in this sweet tale. Gustavo really wants to have friends, but no matter what he does, his shyness makes him invisible to the other monsters. To counter his inability to be recognized, Gustavo invites a group of monsters to watch him perform a violin concert on the Day of the Dead. Gustavo does what he loves most and finally, he can be seen by others. Ultimately, his life is changed because he shows his true self to the world. A side story involving Gustavo’s love for “the prettiest monster” remains unexplored. This is a debut novel from Drago, a Mexican author and illustrator, and she deftly weaves in cultural references. The illustrations are bright and detailed.
VERDICT Gentle storytelling and vibrant mixed-media illustrations make for an enjoyable seasonal story.

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