Sheets by Brenna Thummler. Lion Forge Comics, 2018. ISBN 978-1941302675. Read on hoopla.
13-year-old Marjorie Glatt has been running a small laundromat by herself ever since her mother died, while going to school and caring for her younger brother. Her father has been too depressed to take on any of this. Marjorie is teased by the other kids at school and tormented at the laundromat by the creepy Mr. Saubertuck, who lets himself in even when it’s closed to clean it and to put up flyers for the yoga resort he’s planning to open in the space. Meanwhile, Wendell is a kid in ghost training in a nearby town where ghosts are supposed to learn how to follow the rules to keep their sheets. He comes up with outrageous stories to explain his death, but his fear of washing his sheet tells us that there’s something more going on.
This is a mostly sad story, but it’s leavened by some humor – the villain is so over-the-top he’s hilarious, and the ghosts in sheets with their accessories are also funny. The art is more angular and colorful in the regular world, as opposed to the softer lines and colors used in the ghost world. This will appeal to kids who love ghost stories, though I preferred the author’s adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.
Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres & Elbert Or. Oni Press, 2009. 978-1934964330. Available on hoopla.
Jesse going back to the Philippines for his Lola’s funeral – older cousin Maritess – Filipino legends and monsters (some sounding similar to those in The Jumbies) – slow realization that there is a ghost present – twist at the end that made L insist that I read it so we could talk about it: scary end to a not-scary ghost story. 4/19/20
Jesse is going back to the Philippines from Canada for his Lola’s funeral. He can see ghosts and monsters, and there are many more of them in the Philippines, related to the stories his Lola told him. As he’s going around with his older cousin Maritess, the reader slowly comes to realize that one of the people we’ve been seeing is a ghost. Though the ghost isn’t scary, the folk tales, some of them about monsters that sound very similar to those in The Jumbies, are. It’s beautifully illustrated in soft sepia tones with crisp lines. It has a scary, cliff-hanger end that didn’t quite jibe with the rest of the story and had my daughter insisting that I read it right away so we could talk about it. She’s read it at least once a day for the last week, another high compliment.
Our copy of this was a gift from Raina Telgemeier at A2CAF one glorious year when she gave every kid at her keynote a graphic by a creator of color, and it seems a very happy accident that we wound up with one to connect my kids with stories of their heritage.
Sheets has been on my radar for awhile but every time I flip through it, I think I’m not quite in the mood to read a mostly sad story… but maybe one day! I haven’t heard of Lola; I will keep an eye out for it.
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