Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Dare to be Brave! Gustavo the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

Gustavo was a ghost who enjoyed doing the normal things that paranormal beings do--passing through walls, making objects flying and glowing in the dark.

But there was nothing he loved more than playing the violin.

Gustavo had a crush on a pretty monster named Alma, and he longed to join all the others in their games, but the little ghost was too shy even to allow himself to be seen. He was even afraid to order a cone at the Eye Scream shop.

And the worst part of it?

Making friends was terrifying.

Gustavo knew he had to be brave. Then he had an idea. He composed a letter.

"Dear Monsters,

I would like to invite you to my violin concert on the next full of the moon at the cemetery.

I would be thrilled to see you there.


On the assigned night Gustavo arrives at the cementery. There is no one there. There is only one thing he can do. Gustavo picks up his violin and begins to play.

Will Gustavo find the courage actually to "appear" to his would-be friends? Flavia Z. Drago's Gustavo, the Shy Ghost (Candlewick Press, 2020) offers young children a shared story of shyness and the gift of acceptance from those who would be friends, all while they giggle over the comic "paranormals" being themselves in the story, illustrated in  Drago's jolly style. Says School Library Journal, "Gentle storytelling and vibrant mixed-media illustrations make for an enjoyable seasonal story."

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