A Ghost Named Fred
Nathaniel Benchley with pictures by Ben Shecter/ published 1968 by Harper Collins
Not that I enjoy torturing my child with ghost stories, but watching his eyes grow bigger and bigger as I read him A Ghost Named Fred for the first time was really neat to watch. He never really got scared, but he was totally sucked into the story and fell for it completely.
Algonquin round table member and father to Peter of Jaws fame, I've always loved his stuff. I guess it is just the romance of the written word and how so much of his own history is intertwined as an American literature footnote. This story of an only child who makes friends with a friendly, elderly ghost is super sweet, but again, I was stuck with trying to explain what a ghost is to my son. Not even fully gripping what it means to be dead, much less that a ghost is a dead person. Particularly vexing with my two-year-old firmly planted in the defining "why" stage.
He went into another room,
but still he felt the thing
It made his skin feel cold,
and his hair began to prickle.
"I think I'll go upstairs,"
"There is something wrong down here."
I love that last line. The boy in the story is dressed like an astronaut so watching him try to unfreak himself out is funny while at the same time actually brings you into his creeped-outed-ness.
The Hating Book