The Ghost in Annie’s Room by Philippa Pearce was sent to me by Barrington Stoke in return for my honest review.
Philippa Pearce is probably best known for her classic children’s novel, Tom’s Midnight Garden. She also wrote many other novels for children including A Dog So Small and Minnow on the Say. What’s perhaps less well known are her stories for younger readers, including The Ghost in Annie’s Room. In the years since her death, publishers have been slowly releasing these stories in picture book and novella format for a new generation of readers.
The Ghost in Annie’s Room has been published by Barrington Stoke as one of their Little Gem readers, suitable for children aged five to eight. The books are small enough for little hands to read, broken into manageable chapters and the text is well spaced for easy comprehension. It also uses a dyslexia friendly font.
The story has been lovingly illustrated by Cate James’ whose work reminds me somewhat of Pat Hutchins’ work (Rosie’s Walk) and Quentin Blake.
Emma and her family go on holiday to the seaside to visit Emma’s aunt, and Emma is put to bed in the room that used to belong to her aunt’s daughter. Emma’s family tease her about the room being haunted. Emma wonders about the ghost, but finds that nothing can dim her enjoyment of her holiday and every night finds her explaining away ghostly happenings and getting a peaceful night’s sleep.
There is a beautifully managed tension in this book which reminds me of some aspects of Tom’s Midnight Garden. It is suspenseful but not really frightening and Pearce delivers up a lovely twist in the tale.