The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell

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The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell

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Buy The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: A friendly ghost story to read again and again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: August 2013
Publisher: Andersen
ISBN: 978-1849397711

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I have to admit I was slightly prejudiced about this book. The Little Ghost immediately brought back memories of Robert Bright's Georgie which I had cherished as a child. Like Georgie, Little Ghost is a wonderful friendly character, if you are looking for a fright, this book will not be at all suitable. But if you jut want a feel good adventure for younger readers, this book is just the thing.

The cover illustration clearly shows a gentle non-threatening ghost. Little Ghost is a kind and gentle creature who has haunted Eulenstein Castle for centuries. He sleeps most of the time, only awakening for a single hour at midnight each night. He spends the haunting hour roaming the castle, playing in the museum, and visiting his only friend Mr Toowhoo, the owl. He has only ever resorted to frightening a human once, and has in fact saved the town of Eulenstein by frightening away an attacking General hundreds of years before. He should have been content, but he wasn't. More than anything else in the world, little Ghost wanted to see the world in daylight. He tried everything to stay awake, or wake up in the morning. But nothing worked. Nothing would wake him before the tower clocked chimed 12, and nothing could him awake after the clock chimed 1am. The wise owl understands that Georgie is in some way connected to the clock, but avoids mentioning this for fear Georgie might come to some harm roaming about in the day.

The little Ghost will get his wish though, and before long he will regret his wish very much. Instead of being awake from midnight to 1am, he begins to wake at noon and can not remain awake past 1pm. The first touch of the sun has burned little Ghost black. To make matters worse, he took shelter in a strange tunnel (which turned out to be a sewer) and became hopelessly lost before finding his way out in the town. Whenever he does try to find his way about he is spotted by humans, causing panic. Mr Toowhoo is his only hope, but little Ghost can not get back to the castle without help - and who would help a strange and blackened ghost?

This book does have everything for the younger reader, adventure and excitement, without really being frightening, lovely characters and plenty of humour. My son loved the section when he realises that ghost is in a sewer rather than secret passage, but the very best part was when the ghost mistook a historical re-enactment for another attack on the town. Younger children will delight in the ghost popping up and unintentionally frightening people, and the ensuing mayhem as well. My five year old absolutely loved this, and my eight year old had a few laughs listening in, but I do feel that this book is best as a read aloud book. The reading level will suit an advanced reader of age 8, but would still give some difficulty. I would put the reading level between 8 and 10, but the interest level is a bit lower. My oldest was happy enough to listen in as I read this to his brother, but he wouldn't choose this to read on his own.

I feel this would best suit ages 4 -7, most of whom will struggle to read this alone. But with the wealth of lovely illustration and the fun story, this is absolutely perfect as introduction to chapter books for the younger child. It makes an ideal bedtime story for the younger child who is beginning to want a longer and more complex plot. It can be read in one night if like very long story times, as we do, or just read a few chapters at a time. Another factor that makes this book so enjoyable as a bedtime story is the sense of nostalgia it is apt to bring adults. If you happened to have read the Georgie books as a child, you are certain to love this. Even if you haven't, this book has all the charm of the type books many of us grew up with. It is timeless in a sense and I found it a real pleasure to read. Reading chapter books to young children is a wonderful way to enrich their vocabulary, help them learn to visualise stories, and keep reading exciting as they begin to outgrow the shorter and simpler stories in picture books. It is also a good way to keep story time going once your child has started to read picture books on their own.

If this book appeals then we can also recommnd:

Spells by Emily Gravett

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O'Hara

Buy The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Little Ghost by Otfried Preussler and Anthea Bell at Amazon.com.

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