Title: The Ghost Catcher
Author: Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss
Illustrator: Kristen Balouch
Publisher: August House
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.8
Concepts: jobs, altruism, scarcity, needs
Review: A young barber from a small Bengali village enjoyed his trade and delighted in the stories shared by his customers. However, much to his wife’s chagrin, he could not bear to take payment from those with sad tales. Frustrated with the constant lack of money, she threw the barber out and told him not to return until he could guarantee the food security of his own family. That evening, the barber rested under a large banyan tree, only to be woken by a hideous ghost who threatened to eat him. The clever barber managed to use his quick thinking and barber’s tool kit to trick the ghost into sparing his life and eliminating his financial burdens at the same time.
Children and adults alike will appreciate this splendid adaptation of an old Bengali folk-tale. The unique, colorful illustrations serve as a magnificent back-drop to a witty story about generosity, financial needs, and resourcefulness. The Ghost Catcher uses a most satisfying blend of excitement and fun to convey its serious message about responding to people’s needs.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children