Summer Book Club Review: Nobody Likes a Goblin

Welcome to VGBlogger’s Summer Book Club! All summer long, we will be providing weekly book reviews across a wide range of geek favorite categories, including art, comics/graphic novels, fantasy, gaming, and sci-fi, and welcoming you to join in on book discussions in the comments. So whether you’re heading out for a road trip, going on vacation, lounging beach/poolside on a nice sunny day, relaxing inside away from the summer heat, or simply searching for a good read to fill your free time, follow our Summer Book Club for our top picks of what you should be reading during these hot summertime doldrums. Please enjoy!

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Poor goblins. They get such a bad rap.

In fantasy fiction, goblins are almost always portrayed as the evil underlings, the grotesque creatures plaguing the kingdom, the disposable enemy fodder for the heroic adventurers to maim and kill on their way to achieving the greater glory of slaying a mighty dragon or some other big baddie. But what if goblins really weren’t so terrible? What if they could be the good guys?

Author and artist Ben Hatke shows a lighter, friendlier side to the typically wicked creatures in the charming new picture storybook Nobody Likes a Goblin, published by First Second Books. The story centers on the aptly named Goblin, a cute, green lad who likes nothing better than to maintain his dungeon, feed the rats, and spend quality time with his BFF Skeleton. Until one day a party of heroes ransack his dungeon, loot all of his stockpiled treasure, and even skeleton-nap his bony buddy. Thus Goblin becomes the little hero that could, bravely setting out from the dungeon to rescue his captured friend.

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Hatke’s storytelling is succinct yet descriptive and heartwarming, complemented by his beautiful ink and watercolor artistry that leaps off of every single page. Even as an adult, I can’t help but flip through the pages over and over again, my inner child’s imagination captured at every turn. The story and art feel rooted in the traditional fantasy themes popularized by the likes of The Lord of the Rings and Dungeons & Dragons, only reenvisioned with a childlike sense of humor and wonder. As with any good children’s tale, the story leaves young readers with a positive message to take away about friendship and the acceptance of others.

Nobody Likes a Goblin is a wonderful picture book, full of adventure, heart, and whimsy for all ages. It’s a great choice for bedside story time, or a fun tale for kids to read during vacation travel or around the fire on a summertime camping trip. Yes this is a story about goblins and skeletons and trolls (oh my!), but these creatures are portrayed in such a cute, harmless way that just maybe this will be a book to help take the edge off of the classic childhood nightmare of a monster hiding in the closet or under the bed. Even fantasy-loving parents will find an unlikely new friend in Ben Hatke’s loveable Goblin, as well as an appreciation for the enchanting artwork that brings the little guy to life.

Buy From: Nobody Likes a Goblin is available now on Amazon.com or via other book retailers listed at Macmillan Publishing. The book consists of 40 11.24 x 8.83 pages, has a target age range of 4-8 years old, and sells at an MSRP of $17.99.

Disclosure: A review copy of Nobody Likes a Goblin was provided to VGBlogger.com by First Second Books.

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About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!