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Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

Best Seller
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
Hardcover $16.99
Jul 14, 2020 | ISBN 9781536211146

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  • Jul 14, 2020 | ISBN 9781536211146 | 3-7 years

    Also available from:

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Product Details


This is a debut novel from Drago, a Mexican author and illustrator, and she deftly weaves in cultural references. The illustrations are bright and detailed. Gentle storytelling and vibrant mixed-media illustrations make for an enjoyable seasonal story.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Mexican-born author/illustrator Drago sweetly captures the angst-y little ghost’s perpetual perturbation…Iconic images of Mexican culture cleverly pepper the scenery. With the papel picado banners, panes de muerto, and Catrinas, Drago provides a festive environment for Gustavo’s laments. Decorated skulls peek out from around every corner; even the family goldfish is a smiling skeleton. This ghostly tale proves that anyone can have a happily-ever-after.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Born and raised in Mexico City, Drago fills her sweet ghost story with vibrant colors, textures, and authentic details from Mexican culture. Her illustrations burst with whimsical flourishes and clever details that youngsters will want to pore over repeatedly. While ideal for Day of the Dead, this heartwarming story about bravely taking the first step toward friendship is wonderful for little listeners year-round.

Gustavo is a sympathetic protagonist, and the illustrations are filled with appealing monsters and witty details.
—The Horn Book

Mexican artist Drago’s picture book debut offers a gentle friendship tale and folk-art-style, textural mixed-media pictures.
—Publishers Weekly

With rosy cheeks and wide eyes, Gustavo’s an easy little spirit to root for, and the book is particularly refreshing in its acceptance of Gustavo’s continued introversion even after making friends…Grainy, crayon-like textures pair with sturdy scribbles to give the mixed media art a joyful sense of movement, and the illustrations provide entertaining details of Day of the Dead traditions and the “monstrous” cast. This is an easy pick for some cheerful fall fun or in anticipation of a Day of the Dead celebration.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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