Gustavo, the Shy Ghost
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

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Annotation: This winning debut picture book from Mexican artist Flavia Z. Drago about finding the courage to make friends is perfect... more
Catalog Number: #238792
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-21114-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8614-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-21114-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8614-0
Dewey: E
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Gustavo is a shy, young ghost who has trouble making friends, despite wanting to join in games and fun with the other neighborhood monsters. His best efforts tend to end with him hiding nding him in the illustrations is part of the book's fun with the monster kids unwittingly looking right through him. Finally Gustavo musters up the courage to send out invitations to his violin concert, which will be held in the cemetery on the Day of the Dead. On the fateful night, the nervous ghost goes to the cemetery and finds it disappointingly empty. But that quickly changes once Gustavo beings to play his violin. Born and raised in Mexico City, Drago fills her sweet ghost story with vibrant colors, textures, and authentic details from Mexican culture. Her illustrations burst with whimsical flourishes and clever details that youngsters will want to pore over repeatedly. While ideal for Day of the Dead, this heartwarming story about bravely taking the first step toward friendship is wonderful for little listeners year-round.
School Library Journal Starred Review
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. Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter Sch., Providence
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (6/1/20)
School Library Journal Starred Review (6/1/20)
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2

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.

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