Saturday 11 November 2023

Ghost Book

Ghost Book written & illustrated by Remy Lai (Allen & Unwin Children) PB, Graphic Novel RRP $19.99 ISBN 9781761065477

Reviewed by Sarah Tegerdine

Ghost Book is a rich and delightfully crafted graphic novel for children and teens from author-illustrator, Remy Lai.

Known for her previous titles, Pawcaso, Pie in the Sky and the Surviving the Wild volumes, in Ghost book, comes a Chinese folklorist fantasy with luminosity, magnetism, and comedy.

It’s Hungry Ghost month, and July, a 12-year-old girl can see ghosts. She finds a ghost boy called William who isn’t a ghost at all, yet, but his life does flicker between the living and the dead.

July and William fast become friends, and together they decide to take on the Underworld to return William back to his body. This of course is made impossibly difficult when there are dangerous ghosts about with an insatiable hunger for wandering souls.

Remy explores serious themes, such as grief, death, loss of a parent and betrayal, and all are masterfully interwoven, without the heaviness you might expect. The balance between light and dark is just right. Accordingly, each page is also feast for the eyes, illustrations are energetic and colourful. Young readers who pay attention to the comic strip will be rewarded with tasty dumpling sized hints that foreshadow important plot twists to July and William’s destination.

Ghost book is a lush, spooky treat that champions the power of friendship.

Recommended for readers aged between 8 and 12yrs of age.

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