cover image MIRANDA'S GHOSTS


Udo Weigelt, , illus. by Christa Unzner, trans. by Marisa Miller. . North-South, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7358-1704-3

A girl uses her witch disguise to give the unwelcome ghostly guests in her bedroom a taste of their own medicine. On her way back from a Halloween party, armed with her scary witch's mask, Miranda decides to take care of the ghosts once and for all. When they show up as usual ("One crawled out from under the bed, another came out of the closet"), she is ready: "How dare you try to scare me!" As she berates them, the ghosts shrink and cower until finally they turn into feathers. Unzner (The Clown Said No) depicts the terrified fellows at the girl's beck and call. Wild-haired Miranda rides a grotesque-looking ghost bareback, while brandishing a lion tamer's whip and hoop as she chases the others around a circus ring. More than ordinary bedsheet spooks, Unzner's ghosts leer, their eyes pop, and long, fiendishly distorted noses protrude from amorphous expressions. Weigelt (It Wasn't Me!) doesn't fully explain how Miranda suddenly summons the gumption to take on all the ghosts at once. On the contrary, she seems so much in control of the situation that readers may find it hard to believe that she ever feared them. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)