Clarissa the cottage is adorable . . . bright pink, with windows that wink, and flowers growing all around. But Clarissa doesn’t want to be adorable–being cute is boring.

A funny, creepy, cute picture book for ages 3-7!

Clarisa, an adorable pink cottage, wants nothing more than to be haunted, but her attempts only make her cuter until she tries being herself and becomes pleasantly surprised.

This hilarious, rhyming picture book written by Marcus Ewert invites young readers to learn about how everything seems to work out when you accept yourself for who you are. (Bonus points for parents who are sick of books about unicorns, because this one has an unusual one!)


SHE WANTED TO BE HAUNTED released July 7, 2020 to these positive reviews:

  • “Appearance isn’t everything, suggests this clever, rhyming book about an adorable pink cottage who wishes to be haunted. Clarissa, the cottage, is reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton’s sweet Little House, with a delightful, sloping shingled roof, a busy chimney, and a front doormat that seems to smile in welcome. She’s surrounded by daisies and scampering squirrels, but wishes to be haunted by ghosts or filled with horrifying monsters like her mother—a witch’s hut—or vampires like her father, a castle. After two failed attempts to change her physical characteristics to attract the right type of resident, Clarissa decides that it’s better to just be herself. That self-acceptance attracts a vicious unicorn who is perfectly horrible, and they instantly become best friends. Expressive artwork is detailed and hints at Clarissa’s darker side. From the intricate family photographs hanging on Clarissa’s walls to the blood dripping from her father’s eerie windows, the illustrations have much to offer. Ewert’s lilting cadence is humorously juxtaposed with sometimes gruesome and scary words and is certain to garner laughs. VERDICT An utterly original take on themes of self-acceptance just in time for Halloween, this is a potential hit to have on every shelf.” – School Library Journal
  • “This rhyming story is certainly an unusual take on the finding-oneself trope. The bouncy verses mostly read and scan well, include sophisticated vocabulary, and provide Clarissa with a spunky, appealing personality… Not necessarily just for Halloween; readers can appreciate it any time. – Kirkus

Images from She Wanted to be Haunted by Marcus Ewert, illustrated by Susie Ghahremani



Marcus Ewert is the author of several picture books, including Mr. Pack Rat Really Wants That, illustrated by Kayla Stark, Mummy Cat, illustrated by Lisa Brown, and 10,000 Dresses, recipient of the Stonewall Honor Award and illustrated by Rex Ray. Marcus works as a bookseller and lives in an actual turret in an old Victorian mansion in San Francisco. It is very likely haunted. @MarcusEwertWriter


Susie Ghahremani is an award-winning illustrator, exhibiting artist, and designer of the popular gift brand boygirlparty®. Her books include What Will Hatch and What Will Grow by Jennifer Ward, Little Muir’s Song by John Muir, Stack the Cats, and Balance the Birds. Susie once lived in an adorable pink house in Rhode Island that was most certainly haunted, but now she lives in Southern California with her husband and their black cat.

Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Price: $17.99
Trim Size: 10.5 x 10.5
ISBN: 1681197913
EAN: 9781681197913
Page Count: 40