Friday, February 4, 2011

Mine! by Mathilde Stein, illustrated by Mies van Hout

Like Mathilde Stein's heroine of The Child Cruncher, Charlotte takes things as they come and is never at a loss. So when she finds a little white ghost in her bed, she's not at all surprised. He turns out to be quite a selfish little ghost, and the only word he knows if "mine". But with Charlotte's firm guidance, he learns it's more fun to play when you share!

Although this is a ghost story, it's not really something you'd put in your Halloween or holiday books. The emphasis isn't on the ghost, but on Charlotte's matter-of-fact acceptance of his presence and her straight-faced way of dealing with the ghost's demands. When the ghost goes home, Charlotte misses him - but he's learned quite a few things from her, as she discovers!

Mies van Hout's art is comfortingly scratchy and textured and her minimalist faces express emotions with just a twitch of the mouth and a shift of the ghost's little dot eyes. The combination of full-page spreads and smaller inset illustrations breaks up the longer sections of text and will hold the attention of children from the surprising beginning to the satisfying end.

Verdict: Recommended. Hand this one to parents who want books on sharing, to kids who like ghost stories that aren't too creepy, and to fans of The Child Cruncher.

ISBN: 978-1590785065; Published August 2007 by Lemniscaat; Borrowed from the library


Playing by the book said...

Hmm, the names look German and Dutch - is this a translation? I shall have to go and investigate...

Jennifer said...

Dutch I think - yes it's a translation. She's published by Lemniscaat.