Thursday 23 September 2021

Flavia Z. Drago wins Klaus Flugge Prize for Gustavo the Shy Ghost

 We are delighted to announce that Flavia Z. Drago has WON the Klaus Flugge Prize for 2021 with Gustavo the Shy Ghost! Huge congratulations to Flavia!

We were so proud to see both Flavia and Rachel Stubbs for My Red Hat on this year's shortlist.

Flavia said: “When I started work on the book, I didn’t notice how much I had in common with Gustavo, but as I got to understand him, I realised that telling this story was important for me because I wanted to show that being shy doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy the company of people—or in this case, monsters! It just means that you find it difficult to connect with others. Some of the things that happen to Gustavo are based on my own experiences. When I was in kindergarten, just like Gustavo I sat by myself during lunch breaks, watching children play while being amazed by the fact that they seemed to be completely happy to talk and play with each other.

The main difference between Gustavo and me is that, sadly, I cannot do the ghostly things like walking through walls, making objects fly, glowing in the dark or playing the violin. However, drawing became a way in which I could connect with others. In a sense, our love for art has been the thing helping us both to connect with others.” 

About the book: Gustavo is a ghost. He is good at doing all sorts of paranormal things, like walking through walls, making objects fly and glowing in the dark. And he loves playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo also has a problem. He is SHY. Which means some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye-scream or talking to the other monsters. But Gustavo longs to be a part of something, he longs to be seen. More than anything, he wants to make a friend. So, plucking up all his courage, he sends a very special letter: “Dear Monsters, I would like to invite you to my violin concert at the Day of the Dead party…”

"A great story about making friends by being yourself and the illustrations are a constant visual delight" Malorie Blackman

You can read our Q&A with Flavia here and download our activity sheets here!

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost is available to buy from all good booksellers!