Friendship, one of the most wonderful and most challenging of things. And just as in life, friendship issues occur in the word of the dead too as the adorable Gustavo the Shy Ghost proves.
Gustavo enjoys being a ghost, it is fun slipping through walls and making objects float. The one thing that makes Gustavo sad is that he doesn’t have a friend. Despite turning up in many different guises - as a surfboard, a football, on the washing line - no one ever notices him. That is one of the problems with being a ghost, even when Gustavo gets close to potential friends they quite literally can not see him. Making friends is impossible for incredibly shy and timid Gustavo. He can't muster up the courage to buy an ‘eye-scream’ so there is no chance that he can speak to any of the other monsters and he will absolutely never speak to his monster crush, Alma. Sad at being alone, Gustavo invites all of the other monsters to a musical performance in the grave yard for the Day of the Dead celebrations. But can Gustavo give the performance of his life and make everyone see him…
Mexican author, Flavia Z. Drago tells a delightful story in her debut picture book about loneliness, bravery, overcoming your fears and finding friends. Young readers will love Gustavo as he uses one of his strengths to overcome his weakness. It is the playing of his beloved violin that fills him with happiness which in turns makes him glow and visible to everybody, giving him the friends that he so desires.
The story is told in large font and Drago has given the book a marvellous Mexican flavour. Delightful ghostly characters and monsters adorn the pages alongside symbols and icons from Mexican culture. The story culminating with a Day of the Dead celebration in a cemetery - brilliant Skulls pop up on every page and there are lots of things lurking in the background for readers to spot - be sure to find the skeleton pet fish.
A delightful ghostly tale that is not in the least bit scary and proves that everyone, even shy and quiet introverted ghosts deserve to have a friend.
Recommended for 4+.