Gift Guide

The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans

( 2 )


Who's afraid of Fred the ghost? Unfortunately, no one!

Fred the ghost is perfectly happy haunting his lonely old New Orleans house until Pierre and his daughter Marie move in and turn the house into . . . (horrors!) . . . a restaurant. They clean up his beloved dust. They fix the house's squeaks and leaks. And as much as Fred clanks and groans and haunts and moans, not one single diner is scared away. In fact, no one even notices him. Is it ...

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Who's afraid of Fred the ghost? Unfortunately, no one!

Fred the ghost is perfectly happy haunting his lonely old New Orleans house until Pierre and his daughter Marie move in and turn the house into . . . (horrors!) . . . a restaurant. They clean up his beloved dust. They fix the house's squeaks and leaks. And as much as Fred clanks and groans and haunts and moans, not one single diner is scared away. In fact, no one even notices him. Is it time for Fred to find a new home?

A hungry ghost in more ways than one, Fred satisfies develops a taste for friendship—and beignets—in this deliciously satisfying New Orleans tale.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When Pierre and his daughter, Marie, turned the dilapidated house at 28 Rue Orleans into a restaurant they did not know the house was haunted by the ghost of the previous owner, Fred. As Pierre and Marie make repairs and create their restaurant, Fred attempts to stop them but to no avail. When he tries to scare away the diners, the food critic praises the idea of a mysterious, ghostly show. Since he can't scare everyone away, Fred decides to haunt elsewhere. It takes more than "light-as-air" Powdered Ghost Puffs, but Marie comes up with a plan to make Fred want to stay. The dramatic reds and greens of the restaurant play right into the theatrics of the characters and action of the story. Fred, who is seen floating on "wispy" feet with see-through legs, is just scary enough for the primary grade crowd. There is a wonderful blend of energy between the text and illustrations. Quattlebaum's carefully chosen phrases and highly imaginative story are fun to read aloud and will be a big hit with this age group. This is truly a "snazzy-jazzy" New Orleans story! Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
Kirkus Reviews

An enjoyable New Orleans tale featuring a most un-frightening ghost.

Fred has the perfect life, for a ghost. He putters around his dusty, dreary, dilapidated New Orleans home, happy with the company of one small cactus. But suddenly, two strangers—a man named Pierre and his daughter Marie—arrive and begin renovations in earnest. They turn the old house into a spic-and-span restaurant ready to serve up fine Cajun and Creole fare.Once the first guests have arrived, Fred tries to drive them away, putting on his most terrible ghostly show, moaning, wailing and tossing food about. To his great disappointment, the diners are not scared off. In fact, they begin to cheer and proclaim the haunted restaurant a resounding success. Frustrated, Fred decides to give up and vacate his home, but Pierre and Marie think the house is big enough to share. Pierre whips up some Powdered Ghost Puffs, much like beignets, for Fred while Maria prepares a special room for him, complete with leaks, dust and squeaky floors. And they live—or at least exist—happily ever after. The interplay among the characters is great: When Marie spots Fred sadly leaving and asks if he is the ghost, he responds, "What did you expect?... A floating sheet?" Castelao's illustrations have an ethereal, quirky quality that complements the story, and the details she includes help anchor its New Orleans setting.

Pair with Cambria Evans' Bone Soup (2008) or Kazuno Kahora's Ghosts in the House! (2008) for some fantastic, not-so-scary ghostly fun. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

From the Publisher
Booklist, September 15, 2011:
"Atmospheric and fun, Castelao’s hazy mixed-media illustrations, which have a somewhat Disney-movie-still quality to them, evoke the feeling of a steamy day in NOLA, and the text, with its pacing and patterns, is ideal for letting the reading aloud roll."
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Fred the ghost is very happy haunting the leaky, dusty, rundown house on Rue Orleans until Pierre and his daughter, Marie, fix up the place and turn it into a jazzy-snazzy restaurant offering gumbo, crawfish, red beans, and rice. Reluctantly deciding to move because of all the "clean and gleam and shine," Fred stumbles onto a powerful reason for staying: Pierre's delicious Powdered Ghost Puffs—if only the house were as ghostly as before, with leaks and creaks and broken doors. Fortunately, Marie comes up with a satisfactory solution and all ends well. The painterly illustrations, rich in color and detail, are reminiscent of Don Wood's work in King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (Harcourt, 1985), with reds, purples, and gold-browns, conveying the atmosphere of the old house and the New Orleans setting perfectly. A good story for both storytime and a one-on-one read.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375862076
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY QUATTLEBAUM is the author of fifteen children's novels, picture books, and books of poetry, including Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns, Grover G. Graham and Me, Sparks Fly High, and Winter Friends, which have garnered starred reviews and awards such as the Marguerite de Angeli Prize, Parenting Reading Magic Award, Sugarman Award, Bank Street Best Book, and inclusion on numerous state children's choice lists. 
She writes frequently for the Washington Post, reviews children's books for Washington Parent, and teaches creative writing. Mary shares her home in Washington, D.C., with her family and elderly dog but, alas, no puff-eating ghost.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Delightful! Highly Recommended.

    The characters are funny and quirky. The New Orleans setting is spot on. And the illustrations work well with the text. Children--and their parents--will want to read this one again and again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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