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giovedì, maggio 11, 2017

Leo A Ghost Story by Mac Bernett pictures by Christian Robinson

Leo A Ghost Story by Mac Bernett pictures by Christian Robinson is a children's book by Chronicle Books.
Leo is a little ghost. He lives in a house all alone.

He is not scared by silence, after all he is a ghost.
He is not scared by the condition of being alone because in the while Leo spends most of his time reading and drawing.

He is like all the other children of this world, just he lives in the other dimension from, we guess, a lot of time.

We don't know why he died, and the author leaves at the imagination of children various options. 
If he found this house and stayed there because he loved it, or if, differently little Leo once died in this house and decided to stay there, maybe seeing like in a movie the rest of the  existence of his parents, siblings, until their complete disappearance, or if their parents, still young decided to sell the house after his departure.

Maybe in this house lived his old parents and now they are both dead and his siblings and relatives still alive decided to sell the property because uninterested to keep it.
Or just, Leo found the house very attracted and stayed there.

I think that this point should be discussed with your kid, for let him/her understand the mortality and the other life and yes, ghosts and their appearance sometimes in our life for not being scared. There is an entire literature regarding ghosts and their presence in houses for the most diversified reasons. Sometimes there are ghosts unable to find light, because simply they died for a violent death and so they don't know yet that they're dead, and/or they don't accept it. There are in particular in Ireland special prayers to saying for setting free these souls and helping them to reach the light and peace.

When I visit the cemetery where my dad is buried close to him there is the  beautiful grave of a little baby, died 65 years ago or more. He/she wasn't one year old, they told me and sometimes I love to think at this baby, so little, so innocent, as a peaceful part of our cemetery and as the most innocent guardian of all the other "sleeping" men and women buried there.

Trapped in a little body, the one of a kid who hasn't experienced adulthood, Leo doesn't act as a grown up ghost person, projecting his afflictions in this world. He is able to remove, forgetting, and going on as every child does.

He would want to be a social mate for someone but at the moment the house is empty.

At a certain point a new family buy the house and Leo is thrilled. There will be new friends. 

But no: nothing to do. The family is scared by his presence and his great hospitality not appreciated. They escape without too many compliments thinking that the house after all is haunted.

Leo decides deluded to move on, forgetting this new family.
After all if this family doesn't love him why should he insist? And so he goes away. Searching for someone else.
Searching for a new house and new adventures.
He meet a little kid at the park, Jane and he become his best mate. According to Jane he is an imaginary friend and Leo is desperate again because how can he tell her that he is not an imaginary friend but a little ghost? Will he be accepted by her when he will tell her this truth?

This children's book is about inclusion. How many times children are marginalized or bullied or not understood for the most common or uncommon reasons? Refused by a society with certain standards and certain expectations, they live isolated.
Marginalization of children can become solitude to them. But it doesn't mean: insecurities as we have seen with and thanks to Leo. Leo continued to improve. He read, while he was waiting for something better. He did what he loved.
He stayed positive knowing that somewhere someone would have accepted him just because he was him although it meant that he was different from anyone else in this world. A different star, a different planet, but someone you can look in the eyes and recognize as someone you love.

I thank Abrams&Chronicle Book for this Children's Book review copy.

Anna Maria Polidori

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