Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A gaggle of goblins from A to Z (for Annabelle to Zelda, modeling everything from anoraks to zoot suits) cavort through the fun-filled pages. Set in an attic replete with fascinating objects, Heller's (Peas; Woody) text is a playful romp through the alphabet-one that uses alliteration to highlight the letter in question and introduce the ones that follow (``Jared jumps in his jaunty knickers''). But the true treasure comes from Smith's (Matthew's Dragon; Chipmunk) zippy illustrations. Full of expressive merriment in their own right, the gouache, watercolor and pencil images take on a surprising comical element upon closer viewing. Far from the run-of-the-mill alphabet book, here is an rip-roaring visual spoof on famous paintings and films. From Degas to the hit film The Mask, no one and nothing is safe from Smith's wry visual parodies. Readers will find the goblin Selwin, posed to mimic Munch's famous painting, to be a particular scream. Zany! Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
A peek into the attic by a boy and girl reveals a cadre of green goblins trying on a variety of clothing and other items that have been stored there. The goblins are presented in alphabetical order and are arrayed in such items as denim earmuffs, an emerald frock, a patchwork quilt and some tulip underwear. The alliterations created with the name of the goblin and most verbs and adjectives will broaden the imagination and vocabulary of the young reader. Goblins try on clothing with an exuberance and abandon unknown to humans. Smith illustrates them in humorous poses that are sure to bring giggles from the preschool and early primary ages. Their expressions are varied and full of emotion. This is just right for those young children who want to be scared but in a humorous way. Anxious to get rid of the monsters in the attic? If one is too noisy peering into the attic, they will immediately disappear. Imaginative fun not only for Halloween, but year-round. 1999, (orig.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1In this alphabetical romp, ghastly green goblins play in the attic, trying on a varied assortment of apparel, e.g., ``Annabelle is attired in an amber blouse.'' Each name, verb, and adjective begins with the featured letter and the object introduces the next letter, ``Jared jumps in the jaunty knickers.'' There are some uncommon names, even for goblinsKentigern or Ulrikabut most of the items of clothing will be recognizable to today's children. The strong shapes and bright colors highlight the bold creatures who clown and parade front and center, but tucked among the covered boxes in the shadowy background are well-known works of art such as Mona Lisa and Picasso's Seated Bather. The back flap reveals four of the hidden treasures. A delightful book that combines simple fun with verbal and artistic challenges.Martha Gordon, formerly at South Salem Library, NY