Title: Gustavo the Shy Ghost
Author: Flavia Z. Drago
Illustrator: Flavia Z. Drago
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries:  Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Gustavo is a ghost.  A very, very shy ghost.  More than anything, he wants to make a friend…

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  Aw, this is such a sweet story, I just love Gustavo so much!  The book is bigger than A4 in size and is filled with thick matt pages of colourful illustrations and text.  Gustavo is a ghost, a very shy ghost and he wants to desperately get to know the other monsters, so he tries hiding near them hoping they will notice him.  But when the monsters still don’t see him Gustavo has an idea, he’ll invite them all to his violin concert, but will any of them turn up?

Gustavo the Shy Ghost book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

This is a really lovely and simple story.  Gustavo is so shy that he finds it hard to interact with the other young monsters in town, hiding rather than trying to talk or play with them.  I think a lot of children will be able to relate to Gustavo, I can remember being super shy myself when I was young and at school, and unable to really know what to do around the kids who just seemed to find interacting with each other so easy.  Gustavo knows that he has to be brave and so he tries to hold a violin concert on the Day of the Dead.  As you’ll be able to spot from the illustrations the whole story and book is Day of the Dead inspired.

There’s something so lovely about the illustrations.  I’ve always loved anything to do with the Day of The Dead, and I just love how scary things like monsters, skulls and ghosts are seen as not scary at all and even cute.  Gustavo is such a sweet looking character and I just love the expressions that he and the other characters have, especially when Gustavo goes through a range of emotions from sad to very happy.  The illustrations have a lot of detail in them too which makes looking at them so much more fun, there are so many things to spot and I just love how I had to search for Gustavo in one of the pictures as it wasn’t obvious where he was hiding.

Gustavo the Shy Ghost book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The story is very sweet and I just love how it ends with a satisfying and positive message about being yourself.  It’s a great message and will hopefully help children who are very shy with their peers.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, especially children who are shy.  It’s such a lovely story and the illustrations of Gustavo are just so cute!  I know this is a book I would have looked at again and again as a child and I’m sure many children and adults will love Gustavo’s story too!


What do you think of this book?  Were you a shy child? Do you like day of the dead inspired images or books?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂