TOMORROW WAS THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, AND LITTLE GHOUL WAS NERVOUS.
"DON'T WORRY, MY LITTLE MAGGOT," SAYS HER MOTHER.
Mom promises that everything is going to go perfectly ghastly tomorrow. Little Ghoul reassured herself by downing a package of creepy crispies and brushed her teeth with rotten onion toothpaste, and her mom gave her a great big slobber and tenderly tucked her in.
But the next day dawned dreadfully. Instead of the cold and rainy day she's hoped for, it was disgustingly sunny. Instead of a decrepit old clunker of a bus, it's your standard cheery yellow school bus. The driver had an unpleasantly happy smile and the kids are boring normal children.
Little Ghoul is met in front of the school by a perfectly friendly principal who shows her to a putridly pink classroom and a standard-issue middle-aged teacher with another unpleasant big smile. At least she has lunch to look forward to. Her mom is sure to have packed her favorite brown-maggot and brown banana peel sandwich. Her stomach lurches when she sees a PB and J sandwich and cookie instead.
At least art class gives her a chance to rip up paper and splatter paint all over it. But her heart sinks when the teacher praises her dynamic work and posts it on the display board. The librarian tells the class that each student may check out a book to take home a book, but it's hard for Little Ghoul to pick one. Which is worst--Cute Babies, Happy Kittens, Adorable Squirrels??? She chooses the least abominable title, The Frightful Guest by Edward Scary.
To top off this perfectly dismal day, a boy approaches to shake hands.
"HI!" HE SMILED. "MY NAME IS BEN!"
"LET'S BE FRIENDS!"
"FRIENDS? FRIENDS!" "GHOULS DON'T HAVE FRIENDS!"
Suddenly, Little Ghoul WAKES UP!
It was all a NIGHTMARE! Maybe Little Ghoul's real first day will go better, that is, more ghastly!
Today is cold and rainy with just the right touch of thunder! Things are looking up already!And this first day happily goes absolutely frightfully. She learns slime-oozing and her lunch is perfectly repulsive! All's well that ends abominably, in Jeff Czeka's Little Ghoul Goes to School (Balzer and Bray/HarperCollins, 2021). The more savvy third graders may even recognize the allusions to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the much-loved master of creepy middle grade mysteries, Edward Gorey. "... Sure to scare away the first-day-of-school nerves,” says School Library Journal.