Just when I think that Ben Hatke has reached the apex of his storytelling skills, along comes a goblin to prove me wrong.
Meet the most endearing little goblin ever and Skeleton, his Very Best Friend. (He reminds me of the skeleton that Zita the Spacegirl encounters.)
The two are thrust into an adventure, beginning deep inside the dungeon and taking them out into the world.
Is it true that Nobody Likes a Goblin?
The illustrations are pure delight. In addition to a motley collection of goblins, readers meet assorted villagers and adventurers. (I spent a great deal of time pouring over the images of these sword-wielding, magic-staff-bearing marauders. So many details to discover.)
The dungeon, home to Goblin and the resident bat colony, feels cozy and welcoming. Judicious use of lighted areas on the dark pages gives Goblin's home a warm glow.
Schools and libraries will find this a welcome addition to their collections. The story arc follows a natural rise and fall with prose that begs to be read aloud. The storytelling voice rings true.
This picture book is destined to become a classic. Youngsters sitting on a lap will request repeated readings. It will become a storytime favorite. For many young readers, this is a tale which will be learned "by heart".