Closet Ghosts
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Closet Ghosts

by Uma Krishnaswami
     
 
Moving to a new place is hard enough without finding a bunch of mean, nasty ghosts in your closet. This looks like a job for Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, who can change shape in the blink of an eye and chase goblins and demons away with his thundering voice. When Hanuman answers Anu's plea for help, Anu rejoices-until she realizes that those pesky ghosts don't seem

Overview

Moving to a new place is hard enough without finding a bunch of mean, nasty ghosts in your closet. This looks like a job for Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, who can change shape in the blink of an eye and chase goblins and demons away with his thundering voice. When Hanuman answers Anu's plea for help, Anu rejoices-until she realizes that those pesky ghosts don't seem to be going anywhere.Uma Krishnaswami effortlessly weaves motifs from Indian mythology into this bubbly story of ultimately finding comfort in a new place, and Shiraaz Bhabha's exquisitely detailed acrylic paintings glow on the page. The Closet Ghosts is a treat that will delight and amaze any child who has faced a big change. . . or had ghosts in her closet.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Presenting a taste of the rich abundance of myths from India in a picture book about moving to a new house and going to a new school, is a task nicely accomplished in this story about Anu. Her parents assure Anu that she will soon feel at home in their new home and that she will quickly make new friends, but Anu misses her old neighborhood and her best friend, Mira. Only her little statue of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, gives her comfort when she discovers that it is hard to make new friends and, worst of all, that her closet is occupied by mischievous ghosts who like to try to upset her. When the monkey god appears at her window, Anu welcomes him, as a polite person should, with lemonade, peanuts, and fruit. Hanuman's appearance gives Anu confidence to try to make friends with the ghosts, but they rebuff her efforts to win their affection with a gift of flowers by ripping the offering to shreds. At school Anu does, indeed, begin to have friends and she hatches a new plan to befriend the ghosts. She decides to play music, sing, and dance to entertain the ghoulish creatures who find that "Funny-sunny people make us quiver-shiver." The ghosts depart and Anu bids Hanuman good-bye as he sets off to help someone else in need of guidance. The back matter includes a message from the author describing Hanuman and some of the poetry in the story. Bold, contemporary illustrations have a flavor of the origins of the story and show a wide variety of faces in the school children who become Anu's friends. This title will have a subtle impact as it exposes readers (listeners) to some aspects of Indian culture and a brave girl's efforts to deal with her own challenges—with a little help from themonkey god. 2006, Children's Book Press, Ages 6 to 8.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Anu has just moved and she is terrified. Not only is she lonely and uncomfortable in her new surroundings, but she also has ghosts in her bedroom closet. No one believes her, of course, so she asks the help of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, whose statue guards her room. She also expresses her feelings about her new school, and how much she misses her best friend, Mira. However, when Anu goes to school the next day, the children befriend her, giving her the idea to do the same to the ghosts. Since nothing is more unpleasant to scary ghouls than someone who is not afraid, the ghosts run off to find another victim-Mira. Fortunately, Hanuman is already on the way to give her a helping hand. This delightful story has a familiar theme, but the addition of Hindu mythology and the twist of having the protagonist herself discover a way out of her dilemma set it apart from similar titles about overcoming fears. The dialogue-filled text is perfectly complemented by Bhabha's humorous acrylic illustrations, filled with intense shades of bright colors but uncluttered and done with simple lines. The ghosts are more impish than frightening, and Hanuman is also fun and appealing. An upbeat story with a positive message.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Faced with the universal fear of finding a welcoming place, Anu must rid her new home of the ghosts that are in her closet, as well as find friendship with her new classmates. Comforted by the promise of help from Hanuman (an important figure in Hindu mythology), she ultimately realizes that she will have to find the solution herself. She settles on a plan that changes a scary place into one that is friendly and welcoming, and the ghosts can't stand it anymore. Bhabha's color-drenched paintings perfectly complement Krishnaswami's tale that incorporates a contemporary setting with the tradition of the Hindu Monkey God. The ghosts ("with backward pointing feet") are outlined in white, but wear brightly colored clothing over nearly transparent bodies, and Bhabha's visualization of the Monkey God is perfect. A unique tale that is worthy of a wide audience. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892392087
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2006
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,118,829
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 9 Years

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