Tuesday, June 28

Nobody Likes a Goblin

Nobody Likes a Goblin
Written and illustrated by Ben Hatke

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-1626720817
Publisher: First Second
Date of publication: June 7, 2016
Age: 4 - 8 years
Genre: Fantasy
Format: library book

Themes: goblins, fantasy adventure, friendship, treasure

Goblin cheerily lives in a cosy, rat-infested dungeon with his only friend, Skeleton. Every day, Goblin and Skeleton play with the treasure in their dungeon. But one day, a gang of "heroic" adventurers bursts in. These marauders trash the place, steal all the treasure, and make off with Skeleton―leaving Goblin all alone! It's up to Goblin to save the day. But first he's going to have to leave the dungeon and find out how the rest of the world feels about goblins.

I have to say: when I want to introduce my children to the awesome nerdy world of high fantasy, this will be the book I'll read. A perfectly hilarious homage to the D&D-Tolkien-RPG-fantasy culture, it's pretty obvious that this will be a favorite among us geekier adults. Hatke just got the characters and art down perfectly. Oh man, the illustrations! Besides caricature-ing the classic fantasy roles, the emotions and actions of the little (yes, and slightly cute) goblin give needed support to the simple storyline. They're fantastically done.

In the end, however, the story itself isn't my favorite. The jokes fell a bit flat, the pacing was just slightly off (he finds Skeleton pretty quickly and easily, after only a couple bad run-ins), and while it's great Goblin finds some friends, why did he say he was king? Feels a bit like a lie. Honestly, it's just a great nerdy book and I'd still recommend it to the right people. I just really appreciate the fact that it's a true fantasy picture book―let's get our kids introduced the good stuff!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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