Picture Books In Review: No Such Thing

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In your life, you will come across things you think are going to be adorable but end up being downright terrifying. Such things include Chihuahuas, animatronics, and oh, Ella Bailey’s Halloween-themed picture book No Such Thing.
Let’s begin by posing the rhetorical and hypothetical question: really?!
And moving on.
From my first reading, I understood that it was the story of a young girl named Georgia who, even in her youth, has adopted the mindset that everything has a logical explanation. If her headphones end up in a plant, it was the cat. If the broom goes missing, it was the old woman next door. And her brother is responsible for any crayon murals on the walls. Obviously, she has also mastered the concept of passing the blame to others, but that is beside the point. The point is, ghosts don’t exist.
Initially, I thought this piece was great. I decided I needed to send a copy back to five-year-old me with a detailed note about ghosts and how “they, despite what you may think, young me, don’t live in your bedroom.”
I thought the moral of this story was no ghosts. But spoiler alert: it’s not. Near the end, Georgia is seen exiting her living room, and as the lights turn off and the door closes behind her, ghosts appear everywhere. Ghosts with headphones and brooms and crayons. It was like a ghost volcano erupted in her home. Where she lives! And yeah, the ghosts are cute, but that might not be enough to take away from the fact that they are ghosts.
Upon my second impression of this text, I began to notice that there are ghosts hidden on every page, right out where anyone could see them. I started to wonder how much Georgia really knew. Maybe this isn’t the story of a level-headed young lady, but perhaps a girl knee-deep in denial about the supernatural world happening before her eyes.
In any case, the moral I have gathered from this book that is allegedly written for young, impressionable children, is to forget logic. Forget explanations. If anything goes awry in your home, it’s probably a ghost. A cute, little manifestation of a dead person. But hey, if that reality troubles you, just pretend it doesn’t exist.
Overall, I’m not saying I don’t recommend this book, the illustrations are colorful and happy, and the story is well-written, but I am saying that if your child (or you) is still at all on the fence about ghosts and their presence among us, you may want to keep this one on the shelf.

Last Updated on November 28, 2018.


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