Tuesday 24 August 2021

Book Review: "Why Do You Cry, Sad Ghost?" by Celia Jones

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

If you've read any of my other recent book reviews, you will already know that every book I read starts off with the full 5 stars and that I always hope it'll finish with 'em all still in place too.

I'm taking a risk with this book 'cos ghost books usually give me nightmares for several days afterwards, but as this is a picture book and the ghost on the front looks like a cartoon and I'm reading it in the afternoon instead of close to bed time, I'm hoping I'll get away with it this time  ;-)

I've been OK with the first two pages... I'm wondering about the word choice of "complexion" though, 'cos a small child wouldn't have even heard the word before, let alone know what it meant and might have to interrupt the person reading it to find out, so it's a wobbly star already unfortunately, just not for the reason I was thinking is all.

The author has used complexion again on the next page, along with another new word, frail, that small children wouldn't have a clue about either... the star is currently clinging on by the tips of it's fingers.

Not sure I approve of the image on page 3 - the way that the adult male is chugging from a bottle makes me think it's a bottle of alcohol and the character drinking it is drunk... not a good image for a child unfortunately.  A second star is wobbly now.

Now the author has chosen a third word that such small children wouldn't understand, so that's the first star gone.

"Utmost" is used on the next page... I realise that the author is trying to introduce new words, but using four new words in four pages is a bit much, especially as there's no explanation of what each of the words mean within the book!

Now we've got the image of a man in his undies, a can on the floor, bottle on the table and a bowl of popcorn which is screaming alcoholic to me unfortunately.  Like with the words, the images have one more chance otherwise the second star is coming off.

Just finished reading the book and thankfully there weren't any more inappropriate images for such a young audience, so the book finishes with four stars... it's like the author has been desperate to find rhyming words and those words and images have been too advanced for such a young audience.

It's a good book, but at 40 pages long (the industry standard, in the UK at least, is either 28 or 32 pages), the word choices and a couple of the illustrations, are just not appropriate for a Picture Book unfortunately.

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