From a Belgian illustrator, a set of sharp challenges to young maze runners and Where’s Waldo fans.
When Finn wakes to find his clothes scattered, his dog Sep vanished, and his multilevel house a shambles thanks to a rascally gang of goblins, the search is on—and then the chase. Thanks to dim lighting, dizzying shifts in locale, and hordes of distractions ranging from flocks of floating sheep to long-nosed, Edward Gorey–style night monsters with glowing eyes, tracing the routes of Finn and his quarry through dense tangles of roads, tunnels, stairways, undersea formations, and flights of sinuous dragons will strain the eyes of the most acute gamers and visual puzzle solvers. Though spotting the text is a challenge too, as it’s printed in teeny-tiny type and squirreled away in some inconspicuous corner on each spread, it does offer both helpful hints (“Luckily, they find a drooling rock, a royal rat and an old dragon pointing the way through the castle dungeons”) and a plotline that ultimately leads Finn back to his home just in time for a goblin-hosted birthday party. In tricksy but time-honored fashion Goes then lists a few previously unmentioned figures hidden in each scene as an incentive to go back. The spreads are mostly monochromatic, with occasional features picked out in a contrasting color; Finn himself is a light-skinned child (or possibly man).
A murky ramble satisfyingly festooned with surreal creatures and detail. (Picture book. 6-10)