Ginny is becoming a symbol of toddler power.

GINNY GOBLIN CANNOT HAVE A MONSTER FOR A PET

The lovable, green-skinned imp has returned following her introduction in Ginny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box (2018).

The first page establishes the fact that Ginny Goblin loves animals and that goats are among her favorites. The grinning, big-eyed toddler stands atop a similarly featured goat. The page turn reveals why goats are not good house pets: Five comical goats are wreaking havoc in a dining room. The fun begins when the narrator naively says, “Maybe if we help Ginny Goblin find a pet, she’ll stop trying to herd goats through the house.” The art perfectly complements the imaginative, absurd text, as Ginny—defying authority—tries to acquire a pet through such means as a bear trap, military tank, submarine, and rocket ship. No hermit crab or bunny for her! Just enough shiver accompanies the text and comical art’s introductions to such creatures as a kraken, a dragon, a basilisk, and a space monster. Even as Ginny is depicted doing the things she is not allowed to do, the text poses the frightful consequences: “If Ginny took her basilisk to school for show-and-tell, her whole class would turn into statues.” The text further accommodates little ones by frequently invoking the title; its tongue-in-cheek humor and clever wordplay will keep more sophisticated readers engaged. The surprise ending will elicit both a smile and a wink from all.

Ginny is becoming a symbol of toddler power. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-544-76416-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again.

WE'RE GOING ON A GOON HUNT

Hunt for a bear? That’s so yesterday.

On a spooky Halloween night, we’re hunting for…a green GOON. We’re not really scared. Let’s start in a pumpkin patch. We can’t go over or under it, so we’ll just go through it. We’ll do the same in other likely goon hideouts: a swamp, a tunnel, a forest, a graveyard, and, finally, a haunted house. In this atmospheric “petrifying parody” of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, a dad and his four kids, dressed in Halloween finery and accompanied by their costumed pup, search for the elusive quarry. They become more frightened (particularly dad and pooch, even from the outset) as they proceed along the increasingly murky path—except for the youngest, unicorn-outfitted child, who squeals a delighted welcome to whatever creature unexpectedly materializes. As in the classic original, evocative sound effects (“Gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss, gurgle hiss!”) ring out as the quintet moves through each hazard. Unsurprisingly, the group locates the goon, forcing them to retrace their steps home in a frenzied hurry, odd noises and all. They reach safety to discover…uh-oh! Meanwhile, someone’s missing but having a ball! Even readers who’ve never read or heard about the bear expedition will appreciate this clever, comical, fast-paced take. The colorful line illustrations are humorously brooding and sweetly endearing, with the family (all members present White) portrayed as growing steadily apprehensive. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-20.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 74.6% of actual size.)

Young readers will hunt out this enjoyable crowd pleaser again and again. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984813-62-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A handsome edition of an old favorite.

WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT

The familiar cumulative game is played by four children, along with their father and their dog, at the typically British beach pictured on the lovely, expansive first endpaper. 

The children's real activities are shown in b&w drawings; the imaginative doings appear in full color. Although some of the color pages show perfectly possible events, most are clearly fantasy, suggesting just how close the two may be in children's minds. The family ends up in safe retreat in one big cozy bed; the bear is seen--on the second essential, beautiful endpaper--headed into a gloomy sea. Oxenbury's splendid watercolors and drawings perfectly evoke both landscape and the members of the questing family. 

A handsome edition of an old favorite. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1989

ISBN: 978-0-689-50476-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1989

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