When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories.
Armed with unusual snacks (bone-shaped peppermints, granghoula bars and Rumpelstiltskin sandwiches), candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita, Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling and, at the end, a great Halloween party.
Governor General’s Award winner Glen Huser brings his quirky sense of humor and horror to some time-honored motifs. The artistic Lubinitsky girls find out that artists must be wary of the power of their own creations. Holy terror Angelo Bellini discovers that no one can throw a tantrum like a double-crossed pirate. The Hooper kids, including UFO junkie Benjamin, learn about some eerie goings-on in the New Mexico desert. Timid Hubert and Hetty Croop are practically afraid of their own shadows, until they hear the story of a boy who finds the perfect weapon for overcoming his fear of the dark. And Dwight and Dwayne Fergus, two would-be Freddy Kruegers, finally meet their match in Carolina, and her story of the footless skeleton.
As for Carolina Giddle herself, it turns out that she has a timeworn connection to the Blatchford Arms, and to the ghost who still haunts the building — especially its old-fashioned elevator.
For younger readers who are interested in things supernatural or spooky – from skeletons to bat-monsters to extraterrestrials – The Elevator Ghost offers a quirky approach to ghost stories without being overly frightening.
These moderately scary stories should make great read-aloud sessions, making this perfect fare for Halloween.
This middle-grade spookfest from Governor General Award winner Huser promises goose bumps and chills.
The once-grand apartment setting, eccentric character names, and many candlelit storytelling sessions call to mind children’s novels of yesteryear. Innerst’s moody illustrations make Carolina’s eerie tales feel all the more real.
The tales are relatively tame and are appropriate for readers new to the genre or those faint of heart.
The mix of humor and gentle spookiness make this a perfect classroom readaloud.