FICTION

Ginny Goblin Cannot Have a Monster for a Pet

HMH. Jul. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544764163.
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PreS-Gr 3–Goblins don’t want dogs, cats, or even bearded dragons for pets. They prefera fearsome kraken, an acid-spitting alien, or a basilisk that turns people into stone. But little Ginny Goblin will settle for a plain old goat if she can’t have anything else. After an unseen narrator tells her that she can’t have goats in the house because it’s too much work to take care of them, Ginny is told to find a more appropriate pet—one that is not a monster. On her quest, Ginny dives into the deepest ocean, plumbs caves, and blasts herself into outer space and encounters a wide variety of monsters there. Thomas’s colorful illustrations are packed with personality. Ginny stands out on every page, even when she’s at the bottom on the sea in a submarine dwarfed by an enormous squid. All the while, she never loses her impish grin. Each spread features fun details to look at, from the little goblin’s colorful unicorn chair to her baiting a basilisk with a cupcake. Goodner’s text is conversational and bemused with Ginny’s antics, despite her persistent disobedience. The unseen narrator eventually acquiesces and allows Ginny to keep a goat, after all of her alternative choices prove too monstrous.
VERDICT Although not necessarily modelling ideal parenting, this title is sure to please children whether or not they want a pet of their own. Readers will find Ginny’s adventures and the tone of the text a hoot.

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