Posted 20 hours ago

Leo: A Ghost Story

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Your reviews are noticed and appreciated, and, even though I keep up with kids lit, it's unlikely I would have found this on my own! Last year, after our yearly author visit, I was driving through downtown Montgomery to have dinner with my wife (in the passenger seat) and Mac Barnett ( in the back seat).

I appreciated the fact that Jane is a dark-skinned young girl - too many of the more diverse picture-books out there are message-driven, and not enough are fanciful - but that this is not a narrative (or artistic) focus. I’ve seen other reviewers recommending the book for ages 4-6, but I think kids much older than that will love it. My favorite illustration is from the part of the story when Leo has just found his first real friend. Despite Leo’s ghost status there is nothing spooky about this moving story of friendship, acceptance, and belonging.The best element of this story is the illustration of the little boy ghost Leo, done often on vellum that overlaps other things and characters.

Jane is sapphire-skinned but reads African-American to me, with her braided or twisted hair — drawn as cheerful little dots — in a high side ponytail. I also enjoyed how he slightly changed his style for each character, and while the blues in this create a quite melancholy tone for a ghost story, the bold, blocky shapes interact this and become a tool to engage the audience. Hoping to ingratiate himself with these new housemates, Leo prepared them mint tea and honey toast, only to unintentionally terrify them with his actions. It taps into underlying melancholy of Leo’s situation: Leo, of course, is a ghost who haunts a house until its new inhabitants make it clear that they have no interest in sharing the space with him. D’une plume tout en fine sensibilité, Mac Barnett sait tricoter une adorable vérité entre les oeillères du réel.A few have two or three sold ahead of time, but haven’t written them yet, and even less have two or three finished waiting for publication, but SEVEN? Leo the ghost lived a life of quiet solitude in an abandoned house on the edge of the city, until the day a new family moved in. Considero que cuelquiera puede leer este libro porque apresar de que diga poco, nos deja con un mensaje hermoso.

But luckily, there's Jane, our plucky heroine, who can see Leo when others can't and believes him to be her imaginary friend.A heartening parable of seeing through difference, meeting the unfamiliar with unflinching friendliness, and dignifying the reality of the other.

Without giving too much of the plot away, he finds a friend though there is a misunderstanding that must be a fairly common occurrence among ghosts. There are police women, non-methy white burglars thieving a black household, and despite the monochromatic illustrations having a decidedly '50's feel, some women wear pants! It’s about friendship, about how sometimes leaving some things behind could lead you to better things. But the story of loneliness and finding friendship is delightful, and reminds me a lot of The Adventures of Beekle.

When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. Leo was a white kid when he was alive and he admits that the city has changed a lot but he's not hesitant to talk to this girl who can see him, this girl who plays games in her room or in the yard instead of hanging out with technology. And in Jane, they create a brilliant heroine whose powers lie within her wit, her open mind, and her freedom of play. It’s a warm and wise story about acceptance trumping difference—including that between life and death.

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