The Christmas Eve Ghostby Shirley Hughes
In 1930s Liverpool, where streetcars clang on iron tracks, young Bronwen and Dylan live with their widowed Mam. Every day, in the wee hours of morning, Mam leaves the two alone as she gathers other people&/b>
Two children find goodwill and acceptance in unexpected places—even in the hardest of times—in a moving tale from a master picturebook creator.
In 1930s Liverpool, where streetcars clang on iron tracks, young Bronwen and Dylan live with their widowed Mam. Every day, in the wee hours of morning, Mam leaves the two alone as she gathers other people’s laundry to boil in a big metal copper at home. At night, if she’s not too tired, Mam tells fanciful tales of dragons and ghosties, and on Sunday, she cautions the children about the O’Rileys next door, who go to a church that is not for their kind. But on Christmas Eve, when Mam must go out, Bronwen and Dylan hear a ghostly plonk! plonk! plonk! from the washroom that sends them running straight into the arms of Mrs. O’Riley. Not only do they find that the house next door harbors nothing to fear, but it may hold a blessing for Mam, too. With evocative drawings full of compelling detail, Shirley Hughes tells a timeless, genuine tale of community and human kindness.
Hughes draws on her childhood memories in this longer-than-usual story about a fatherless Welsh family's struggles in Depression-era Liverpool. Two children, Bronwen and Dylan, live in a row house with their widowed mother, who takes in laundry to make her living. On Christmas Eve, left alone briefly, the children are frightened by spooky noises coming from the washhouse, which leads to a new friendship with the kind-hearted Irish Catholic family living next door. A mixture of full-page and spot illustrations in watercolor and ink creates a nostalgic atmosphere, and details of the hand-washing, drying and ironing process are conveyed through both text and illustrations. The overall theme of the budding friendship between families of different faiths is subtly but effectively presented, and children will understand the feeling of neighborly cooperation. A lovely, refreshing, nostalgia-free reminiscence. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)
- Candlewick Press
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Shirley Hughes is the illustrator of more than two hundred children’s books and has won many prestigious awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal twice. She is the author-illustrator of DON'T WANT TO GO! and OLLY AND ME 1 2 3. She lives in London.
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