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NOBODY LIKES A GOBLIN by Ben Hatke Kirkus Star

NOBODY LIKES A GOBLIN

by Ben Hatke ; illustrated by Ben Hatke

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 7th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62672-081-7
Publisher: First Second

A small goblin finds courage when he defends a friend.

Bug-eyed, green Goblin with his toothy underbite lights torches, feeds rats, and plans to hang out in his dungeon for the day with his Very Best Friend, Skeleton, who has a crown. But the ominous sound of “boots on stone” announces adventurers—light-skinned and medieval-garbed with a full-figured warrior woman in the lead—who come roaring into Goblin’s home to steal all the books, treasure, and worst of all, Skeleton. Shaken, Goblin sets out “into the wide world” to get his friend back, but his troll neighbor cautions, “Nobody likes a goblin.” A farmer with a pitchfork and a gang of elves prove quite serious in their antipathy. Themes of loyalty, courage, and friendship nicely complement the lively sense of danger. Diagonal lines invest each page with motion; full-color art with entertaining details—look for the small dragons on the rocks and for the kidnapped goose and girl on the adventurers’ cart—pulls readers in to the story. When a company of goblins asks our hero, still wearing Skeleton’s crown from before, “Are you the Goblin King?” he thinks a moment before responding “Yes….yes, I am.” Young readers will find themselves cheering Goblin on—he may not be lovely, but his sense of friendship and his loyalty are convincing and appealing.

Endearing and entertaining: what’s not to like—or love? (Picture book. 4-8)