cover image There’s a Ghost in This House

There’s a Ghost in This House

Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $27.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-593-46618-6

Decidedly unscary ghosts—the kind that look like sheets with holes for eyes—lurk in a house being searched by a green-skinned, pigtailed child in this novelty-leaning picture book. Welcoming the reader, the child begins, “I have heard... there’s a GHOST in this house!” Peering over a porcelain bathroom sink, the figure continues, “Have you ever seen a ghost?” With the help of translucent pages that have ghostly images printed on them, readers can conjure the apparitions; on the bathroom spread, for example, one appears right behind the child, making a face in the mirror. Jeffers adds loose line drawings to found black-and-white photographs of an 18th-century mansion that has plenty of dark corners—the narrator climbs a library ladder, lingers in hallways, and peers in cupboards and under a bed. Since readers decide when the ghosts appear, anxiety-inducing suspense isn’t an issue in this conceptually comic treat that puts the reader in control. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)