Little Ghost Makes a Friend

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Jul. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781665927857.
PreS-Gr 2–In an old, forgotten house, between the slats of a boarded window, lonely Little Ghost watches families move in and out of the house next door, year after year, decade after decade. Shy and lovable, with two simple black dot eyes and expressive eyebrow marks, Little Ghost aches for a friend but doesn’t dare go outside for fear of alarming the neighborhood. However, each year he does venture outdoors on one particular day when seeing a ghost wouldn’t be surprising: Halloween. As the holiday nears, Little Ghost notices a moving truck parked in front of the house next door. Anya, a young girl with brown skin and big, curly brown hair, becomes Little Ghost’s new neighbor. Summoning his courage, Little Ghost attaches a scribbled party invitation to a grinning jack-o’-lantern and leaves the offering on Anya’s porch. Little Ghost busily hangs decorations, bakes adorable Halloween cookies, and fashions a charming hodgepodge costume. Full of worry, Little Ghost wonders, “What if she doesn’t show up at all?” In this heartwarming debut picture book, Willis’s digitally rendered cartoon illustrations are soft and cozy, resembling colored pencil sketches, and incorporate comic-style thought and speech bubbles. Relatable for readers across a wide range of ages, Little Ghost’s yearning for connection and display of courage reflects the universal vulnerability experienced at the beginning of friendships.
VERDICT A tender tale of courage and connection for readers who prefer Halloween stories with more treats than tricks.

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