CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 16. . . .December 19, 2014
Bob wants a pet for his birthday, but, much to his chagrin, instead of the standard dog, cat, or gerbil, he is given a ghost (which he names Fluffy). Right away, Bob and his ghost seem to be a mismatched pair. Fluffy won’t fetch or walk on a leash as Bob would like him to do, and Bob isn’t open to playing hide and seek or anything his ghost would enjoy. As boredom results from being ignored, Fluffy turns to mischief to keep himself entertained and ends up eating everything in the house – including Bob! In the end, with a little research, and willingness to compromise, Bob realizes that having a ghost is wonderful, and together they have a lot of fun.
Bob’s Hungry Ghost is an imaginative and original story told using a natural prose. There is no need for rhyme or flourish as the story, itself, provides humour and whimsy. It is endearing how “truths” about ghosts are introduced as matter-of-fact because that is the magic of storytelling – it is true in the world Côté has created for Bob and his mischievous pet. Furthermore, the moral of the story is skilfully tied in, clear without being overtly didactic. Put simply, as the story positions it, friendships require cooperation and attention from both parties. Just as Bob should not punish his pet for not behaving as a dog would, Fluffy is wrong to act out (and eat) Bob because he is feeling ignored.
Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.