Little Ghoul Goes to School

Jef Czekaj. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-244111-9
Little Ghoul, a light green fanged creature, hopes her first day of school will be awful, with a rusty bus, a mean teacher, and no friends. But the bus has a friendly driver, and the principal of Sunshine Elementary greets her with a grin. Her peanut-butter-and-jelly lunch is a far cry from her preferred “maggot-and-brown-banana-peel sandwich, rotten milk, and a pickle-and-fishbone cookie for dessert.” But the tattooed librarian, Ms. Shelley, might just save the day. Author-illustrator Czekaj plays reversals throughout to full comedic effect: “Her mom slobbered on her and tenderly said, ‘I hope you have dreadful nightmares.’ ” Comics-style paneled art, rendered in ink and colored digitally, is approachable, expressive, and inclusive, with characters of differing abilities, religions, and skin tones. Adults will appreciate allusions to Mary Shelley and Edward Gorey in this entertaining subversion, which simultaneously serves as an ode to librarians. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on : 06/24/2021
Release date: 06/15/2021
Genre: Children's
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