Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Ghosts Who Danced, and other spooky stories from around the world by Saviour Pirotta

illustrated by Paul Hess

review by Maryom

With Halloween just a day or two away, it seems like an ideal time to review this latest collection of folk tales by Saviour Pirotta. These ten stories from around the world are aimed at the younger reader, or listener, so although spooky they're not terrifying. In many of the stories the ghosts are friendly, willing to help those who are kind to them, and even the most frightening ghost can be out-witted.
There are tales of ghostly ships and wayside inns, of ghosts seeking something taken from them, or trying to make amends for things they did while alive, of mysterious dogs that come to the rescue of travellers, and,of course, the ghosts delighted to find a fiddler to play for them while they dance on Halloween.
As with many folk tales, there's a moral element to the stories - basically, be nice to others, including ghosts, and treat them kindly  - ghosts may reward you if you do, by pointing the way to treasure or helping you out in some other way, but turn into a nuisance if you don't!

It would make a gorgeous gift but won't be the sort that sits unread on the shelf. There are colourful atmospheric illustrations throughout, several full pages and many smaller ones scattered among the text, making it ideal to share with younger children while the slightly older will be delighted to read on their own.

This is the full list of stories with their place of origin, and there are more details about them and how the author discovered  them in the back of the book ; The Ghost Ship ( USA); Dogs to the Rescue (Russia); I’ll Be Back (Lithuania); The Ghosts Who Danced (Ireland); The Haunted Farmhouse (England); Them Bananas (Tanzania); Welcome to the Red Palace Inn ( China); The Guest (Brazil); The Ghost and his Uncle (India); Atchoo! (Korea)

Publisher - Frances Lincoln
Genre - ghost stories, illustrated story book,

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