Bob's Hungry Ghost: 10/12/15
Bob's Hungry Ghost by Geneviève Côté is the story of a boy who gets a ghost instead of a puppy for his birthday. Here is yet another book about a child and a "pet" that isn't a pet. These pets can be inanimate objects, like a book, a mechanical one (Clink), a mislabled one, or a dead one. For the pets that aren't even alive, the pet "owners" fail to treat them like living pets and pay the consequences of their "foolishness."
So here's Bob, all prepared for a puppy and he gets a ghost instead. Sure, the ghost looks cute but come on, it's not a puppy. If you've been preparing for a puppy and getting your home ready for one, a ghost just isn't even in the same book as a puppy. Maybe, I suppose, it could be, if it were a ghost puppy. In Bob's case, it's a ghost of indeterminate origin and shape.
It's one thing to ignore a puppy, but a ghost? It's not like he's actively trying to exorcise it, or even antagonize it. But Bob's ghost decides to go poltergeist. Sure, pet books are a great way to teach children the importance of taking good care of their pets before even becoming pet owners.
But is Bob's Hungry Ghost about pet care or becoming a Hunter a la Sam and Dean Winchester?