So Not Ghoul

Page Street. Jul. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781645675570.
K-Gr 2–Chinese American Mimi is getting ready to haunt a new school, and her ancestors have plenty to say about the proper attire and manners Mimi should have. Her old Chinese gowns come from her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, and shemust make sure to have her hair covering her face. Mimi arrives at the school and she sees that some of the other American ghosts are wearing fun-looking sheets with chains. When Mimi tries to make her own gown, she arrives at school horrified to see that one of the ghosts has not only taken her traditional gown but is wearing it very wrong. The ghoul inside Mimi comes out as she tells the ghost how she really feels. Mimi discovers her pride in her ancestors and culture and gains unexpected ghoul-friends in the process. Each beautifully illustrated spread pulls readers into this ghostly world, which although full of specters, is similar to our own. Ethereal colors perfectly depict this otherworld, and the text excellently describes Mimi’s world and conveys her thoughts and feelings as she considers her Chinese and American cultures. The school friendship scenarios will be familiar to many.
VERDICT A luminous picture book that embraces the beauty of biculturalism.

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