FICTION

Little Ghoul Goes to School

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062441119.
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PreS-Gr 2–As she gobbles up a bedtime snack of spiders and brushes her teeth with rotten-onion toothpaste, Little Ghoul is nervous about the next morning, the first day of school. The young monster’s mother tucks her into bed and reassures her “little maggot” that her first day will be just horrible. When she wakes up, Little Ghoul hopes for the weather to be cold and rainy, but is disgruntled by the sight of a bright and sunny morning. Expecting her teacher to be mean, she is disappointed to discover they are welcoming and caring. Little Ghoul’s classmates are human children diverse in race, gender, and ability, and don’t appear the least bit bothered by a pleasant first day of school. After enduring such a nice morning, Little Ghoul is ready for the disgusting and rotten lunch waiting in her lunch box, but is once again defeated at the sight of a delicious sandwich and cookie. A smiling boy even tries to be Little Ghoul’s friend and she runs away screaming. Suddenly Little Ghoul is jolted awake by the beeping of her alarm clock. Was it all just a good dream? This book hilariously depicts a little monster’s alternative reality using bold cartoon-style illustrations drawn with ink and digitally colored. Pair with a little dinosaur’s first day of school in Ryan T. Higgins’s We Don’t Eat Our Classmates for a laugh-out-loud story time.
VERDICT A recommended, imaginative, and playful read-aloud perfect for preschool and early elementary school, sure to scare away the first-day-of-school nerves.

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