Three cousins come upon an old house and find something they never expected.
It’s summer vacation, so Patrick and his sibling, the narrator, take the bus as they always do to visit Grandma; their rambunctious cousin Robert is already there. The trio gathers Grandma’s old bikes to cycle around town, eventually coming across a dilapidated house. They decide to get closer. Robert dares to throw a rock at one of the windows. A spooky ghost face appears! The kids high-tail it off the property, Patrick jumping on behind the narrator and accidentally leaving his bike behind. When Grandma finds out what happened, she takes them all back to the house to apologize. The kids learn that the figure in the window wasn’t a ghost at all but a person. In fact, they may have all just made a new friend. Related in the unnamed sibling’s first-person, past-tense narration, this Canadian import is ultimately a sweet story of intergenerational friendship. The comic-book–panel layout, coupled with Rust’s mixed-media cartoon illustrations, gives a cinematic quality that builds suspense with each page turn. Speech bubbles provide additional details to the account, which reads like a reminiscence, through sparse dialogue. The colors, switching from bright and summery to spookily desaturated, evoke emotion. While the red-haired, freckled narrator character presents white, the others have darker, more ambiguous coloring.
Quiet and reflective, as fleeting as summertime itself. (Picture book. 4-8)