Ghosts in the House is a charming picture book by Kazuno Kohara. The illustrations are all orange, black, and white, making it a perfect read for Halloween! The story begins with a little girl and her cat who’ve gone to live in a nice big house on the edge of town. Unfortunately, the house is haunted! But that’s just fine with this little girl because she happens to be a witch. She’s going to whip this house’s ghosts into shape! Before you know it, she’s caught and cleaned them all, and turned them into linens for her new home. She’s got ghosty curtains, ghosty table cloths, and ghosty blankets for her bed! Ghosts in the House is an adorable story about a girl, a cat, and some ghosts, that all live happily ever after.
Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein is a book with many layers, much like its collage art illustrations by Ed Young. On the surface it’s the story of a cat named Wabi Sabi, who is trying to discover the meaning of her name, but underneath it is influenced by Zen philosophy. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept which finds beauty in things that are simple, imperfect, natural, modest, and mysterious. This explains why everyone the cat asks tells her “it’s hard to explain,” why the city she walks through is not as pretty as the woods that surround it, and why she finally understands the meaning of her name when she sees herself, plain but beautiful, in the reflection of a wooden bowl of warm tea.