A girl with green skin and green hair invites us into her old house, with the slightly worrying admission that ‘I haven’t had visitors for quite a while’, and an invitation to help her find a ghost. As soon as we enter the house, Oliver Jeffers interleaves a semi-transparent almost blank sheet between the left-hand picture and the right-hand text, and eagle-eyed children will notice that once the sheet is overlayed on the left-hand picture, ghosts are revealed. If the technique is very different, Jeffers is using the same joke as in Jan Pienkowski’s Haunted House, where the child reader sees so much more in the illustration than the narration in the text ever admits. Much of the fun here is the anticipation of how many ghosts will turn up, where they will be, and what they will get up to. Small white sheeted figures with button eyes, they are not at all frightening. Rather, they are would-be playmates enjoying the game of hide-and-seek, sometimes disguising themselves in friendly shapes like a draped towel or a domed mantlepiece clock. On the left-hand page, Jeffers uses grey photographs of the empty rooms of an eighteenth-century townhouse, as if from an old guidebook or sale catalogue, their intimidatingly empty grandeur transformed by the busy playful ghosts. It’s a simple and enjoyable idea, brilliantly sustained.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2022-01-20 08:00:542022-01-20 08:00:54There’s a Ghost in This House