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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn a bit about Day of the Dead celebrations. Iconic images of Mexican culture appear throughout, including decorated altars to honor the ancestors, papel picado banners, and decorated skulls.
Strong messages about bravery, friendship, overcoming obstacles, and always being true to yourself.
Positive Role Models
When Gustavo feels lonely, he doesn't try to change to make others like him. He draws courage from his strengths and invites all the monsters to his violin concert.
Violence & Scariness
There are monsters, a ghost, skeletons, skulls, and a cemetery, but nothing is scary.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gustavo, the Shy Ghost, written and illustrated by Mexican-born author Flavia Z. Drago, is a beautiful picture book about finding the courage to make new friends, while staying true to yourself. It's a lovely story that's relatable and easy to follow, a perfectly sweet tale to read with kids during the spooky season, and beyond. And it's is also available in Spanish: Gustavo, el fantasmita tímido.
Is It Any Good?
This sweet, colorful picture book tale about friendship and overcoming shyness includes familiar themes that even the youngest reader will relate to. Gustavo, the Shy Ghost includes engaging illustrations and large text to make the story easy to follow. Each page offers plenty of background details to enjoy and vivid illustrations depict a variety of unique little monsters, making this book a treat for little ghouls and goblins during the spooky season -- or any time of the year. Perfect for Halloween or the Day of the Dead, it's also a great year-round read to help kids understand that it's OK to be shy and that you can be an introverted person and still be a great friend.
Elements of Latinx culture are depicted in the decorated altars seen within the main character's home and at the cemetery. And although this book is also available in a Spanish version, I found myself wishing that both Spanish and English versions would have been included in the same book so families and children could enjoy and learn Latinx culture and language all in one place.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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