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That Playful Little Ghost

Isabel Ricardo Author Interview

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants follows a ghost that is given a unique name and is teased for it, he learns to accept his different name with the help of a new friend. What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration was really my children. I used to try to spook them by going into their room with a sheet covering me, waving my arms and yelling that I was The Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Of course they would always burst out laughing. At a certain point, young children accompanying their older siblings to signings of my THE ADVENTURER’S series asked me to write something for them too, and so I indulged them. I reminisced in that game I used to play with my children and one summer I decided to write the story of that playful little Ghost who was marginalized by others due to his crazy name, and was deeply saddened by this. And it has been a great success!

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Pedro Pires?

After writing this book I searched for an illustrator whose work I admired a lot, Pedro Pires. In this case I sent him the book and left it to his creativity. I had no idea what would come out of his hands. When we hear about ghosts, we always have this common image in our minds, but the illustrator’s vision was very original and innovative, with a ghost with red hair so long that it even wrapped around the lamps. I was surprised by the final product, but I enjoyed the uniqueness. And it was a good choice indeed, because kids love him and they really like his different and strange look.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The main theme is the acceptance of difference and diversity. This book has a pedagogic component to it. I wanted to demonstrate to all children, through a fun way, that we are all different, but at the same time, all the same. We all have hearts and feelings that must be respected and we must not treat differently those who are different from us. This way, children learn to accept and respect difference with ease. During the course of this story, we also discover the value of friendship.

This is a Portuguese children’s literature bestseller, with successive editions, very dear to children of all ages, as well as Educators, Parents and Teachers.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently writing my next historical novel, in Portuguese, which always takes longer as it requires very deep and comprehensive research. Later this year, Underline Publishing will release “The Enchanted Forest”, as well as “The Forgotten Treasure”, the second volume of The Port of the Grail trilogy, in succession of The Quest for the Lost Map. There will also be a new adventure: “The Adventurers in Underground River”.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants is a very entertaining book about a playful ghost, who tore his underpants, becoming forever called: The Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Aimed at children from 3 to 10 years old, this story amuses and, at the same time, teaches kids that we are all different, but all the same. This title has the collaboration of Isabel Ricardo, a renowned Portuguese author of many successful children’s and youth collections, and the talented illustrator Pedro Pires. Let’s have fun together!

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants

A ghost has the unfortunate luck of getting bestowed the name Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Now the way it works is once another ghost gives a name to an unnamed ghost, it can not be changed; that is just how it works. Upset and frustrated at the constant teasing he endured after receiving this name, Ghost of the Torn Underpants moved to a new mansion alone. He was very lonely, but it was better than being teased nonstop over a name he could not change.

One day the ghost postman brought him an invitation to a party at his old mansion. He decided to give it a try as he was lonely all alone. He found a girl ghost sitting alone when he arrived, looking sad. When he asked her what her name was, she shyly said it was Ghost of the Backwards Dress. She was teased just as much as he was, and they formed a friendship. Together they learned to love their unique names and realize being different does not make you a bad person or less worthy of friendship and respect.

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants, written by Isabel Ricardo and illustrated by Pedro Pires, is a captivating children’s story about differences and accepting those that are not the same as you. With the increase in diversity in schools, there are many names children have never heard before. I think this book is an excellent resource for teachers and parents to show that names are unique and not something to be teased about. Ricardo teaches children about acceptance of themselves and others, standing up for themselves, and the value of friendship.

The bold and beautiful watercolor illustrations bring this meaningful story to life. The Ghost of the Torn Underpants has bright red hair that waves like a flame. This makes him stand out visually as well as his name, drawing attention from the other ghosts that fit a more traditional appearance. All the illustrations are engaging with small details that children can pick up on and look for. This is further enhanced by an exercise at the end of the book. The author asks questions about what children saw in the pictures, like how many letters the postman carries.

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants is a well-crafted children’s book combining important messages about acceptance, diversity, and friendship. The author writes in a manner that young kindergarten children will understand the message but is mature enough that children in older grades will be drawn to the story as well.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B08QG9NGK8

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