A beautiful graphic novel and supernatural exploration of friendship and grief for children aged 9+
'Sheets' by Brenna Thummler is a beautiful and moving exploration of loneliness, grief, friendship and family. Both heartbreaking and delightful, it’s a lovely book, which I devoured in one sitting. ⠀
Marjorie's world seems to be falling apart after her mother's death. The family owns a laundrette which is their only source of income. While struggling to deal with her grief and her increasing isolation at school, Marjorie desperately tries to keep the failing laundrette open. On top of all of this, a seedy developer is determined to get his hands on the family business and a young ghost has decided to make the laundrette his midnight playground, inadvertently causing Marjorie huge problems.
Wendell is a ghost who died young and is drawn to the laundrette, where he plays all night and reverts to a sheet during the day. Both children are struggling to come to terms with what has happened to them, but their friendship may be just what is needed to help them process and move on.
Playing on the old idea of ghosts wearing sheets, Thummler's gorgeous graphic novel is an unusual and sweet concept which deals with a very heavy subject in a magical way. You cannot help noticing that Marjorie herself seems to move through her own life as if she is not there or seen by others, something that Wendell understands well!
I don't often buy graphic novels (something I would like to remedy!), but this one was just so visually appealing that I bought it without knowing anything about it! I love the muted tones and the blue/pink/purple colour palette used for the stunning illustrations. I am looking forward to the follow-up, Delicates which is out later this year.