Ghosts in the House!

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Tired of living in a haunted house, a young witch captures, washes, and turns her pesky ghosts into curtains and a tablecloth.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A must-have for Halloween.”—Booklist, Starred Review

“Old-fashioned charm that isn’t at all dated.”—The Horn Book, Starred Review

“Its underlying message is spot on.”—New York Times Book Review

“An utterly delightful book.”—The Washington Post

Kristi Jemtegaard
The uncluttered illustrations evoke woodblock prints, and the higgledy-piggledy pointed house and sharply angled witch hat form a perfect counterpoint to the translucent flow of the otherworldly inhabitants…an utterly delightful book.
—The Washington Post
Gregory Cowles
…sweet and beautiful…its simple linocut illustrations are limited to three candy-corn colors, orange and black and white, and it is so insistently unironic that it ends, sincerely, with the words "And they all lived happily ever after." Yet the story manages a gentle charm as it describes a girl and her cat moving into an old house at the edge of town.
—The New York Times
School Library Journal


This visually arresting, easy picture book is a surprisingly powerful masterpiece of design. Laid out entirely on electric orange pages, the two-color scheme hearkens back to a bygone era in children's book publishing. Far from being dated or dull, though, Kohara's elegant achievement retains an oh-so-contemporary flair thanks to savvy layout techniques. The story is delightfully simple: a little witch moves into a haunted house, and, fortunately for her, she knows exactly what to do with a house full of ghosts. First she traps them, then she washes them, and finally she repurposes them as useful items, such as curtains, table linens, and bedding. The story ends happily, with smiling ghosts performing new jobs all over her house. The ghosts have the opacity of used dryer sheets and trick the eye into thinking there are two textures on the page; this unique optical illusion is so convincing that readers may find themselves compelled to reach out and touch them. The dense orange that saturates each page casts the whole book in a rich, warm twilight. Toddlers and preschoolers are sure to enjoy this engaging read. With its subzero fear factor, fun narrative, and artful illustrations, it's a surefire Halloween hit.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC

Kirkus Reviews
With bold black prints on a bright orange background, this cheery tale presents readers with a young, can-do witch who isn't fazed by a house full of tissue-paper ghosts. When she moves into "a big old house at the edge of town" and discovers that it's haunted, she just catches the ghosts, one after another. She pops them all into the wash and hangs them, smiling and sheet-like, on the line, before deploying them as curtains, tablecloths and other household linens. A real demonstration that less is more: The simplicity of color and line combine with the capably happy heroine to make this a whimsical winner. (Picture book. 2-6)
Starred Review Booklist

A must-have for Halloween.
Starred Review The Horn Book

Old-fashioned charm that isn't at all dated.
New York Times Book Review

Its underlying message is spot on.
The Washington Post

An utterly delightful book.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A young girl and her cat go to live in a big old house, undaunted by the ghosts that haunt it, for she is also a witch, of sorts. Not only does she know how to catch ghosts, but she finds them all. When she has caught them, she puts them into the washing machine and hangs them out to dry. They make fine curtains and tablecloths. Worn out from her hard day, the girl and the cat take the last two ghosts up to bed as covers. "And they all lived happily ever after." Along with the cute girl and her sidekick cat, orange pages and flat black images plus the textured white flowing ghosts add up to low-key, non-threatening Halloween fun. The shapes generated by the ghosts form attractive visual designs along with the minimal text. Reissued in board book form, this edition will let young ones share in Halloween fun.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312608866
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 7/6/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 789,231
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

KAZUNO KOHARA grew up in Japan and came to the a student. She now lives in Cambridge, England, where she is studying printmaking.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 13, 2012

    Adorable, visually interesting and fun to read

    This is my second favorite Halloween children's books. The best part is the little suit the cat dresses up in to be a black cat.

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  • Posted October 28, 2009

    A Charming Introduction to Halloween

    My very special 2 year old is both excited and weary of the celebration of Halloween.
    He loved but was weary of the idea of ghosts. This charming, engaging tale enables him to relate to the little girl, (witch) in this book and he giggles with glee at the way she "spins" the ghost into shape. He immediately associated himself with the witch and often pretends to be her. Children this age need books that enable them to confront and overcome their fears. This book does so in a way that will enchant both young and old. The illustrations are perfect with their orange, black and white color scheme. The simplicity of the drawings appeal to the young child of 2-5 years old. We first found this book at the library and I knew immediately that I would add it to our classic collection. Bravo!

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    My baby loved it!

    This book is entertaining for young children as well as infants! With the bright colored/contrasting illustrations, my 6 month old baby loves it! It's her favorite book!

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    Posted October 6, 2010

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    Posted August 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2009

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