A fully illustrated story about a goblin’s quest to find his missing blanket: this unusual book may just bridge the gap between traditional picture books and early readers.
Ogie the goblin has lost his precious blue blanket and he’s not going to rest until he finds it. He asks everyone (including all the members of his family, the dragon trainer Toog Grimple, and the troll washer Jeek) but no one has seen it. He searches the slimewoods, the Goblinian Jam Pits and the Singing Stones of Nottle-Oog but it looks like the blanket is lost forever. Luckily, Ogie’s mum has a belief that missing something doesn’t mean you have to miss out and finds a way to make Ogie happy again.
This book is a bit of anomaly. On one hand the story about a missing blanket is a classic picture book tale and the full colour illustrations and number of pages would also fit with a picture book format. Here, however, the similarity ends. The text is far longer than a regular picture book and the illustrations have a level of detail and sophistication that makes it far more suitable for older readers. I’m, therefore, guessing it’s designed for emerging readers in the 5-8 bracket.
Children in this older age bracket are likely to welcome a book they can read independently whilst also enjoying studying the complicated pictures. If I’m honest the illustrations aren’t guaranteed to have universal appeal but a very large cohort of children will absolutely adore them. If your child loves goblins, monsters and slime, this is most definitely the book for them! Every picture is bursting with intricate detail and this will ensure that children can visit almost countless times, always finding something new to study. Young readers are also likely to enjoy trying to work out how the various ‘machines’ work – the weird and strange contraptions are in many ways reminiscent of the famous Health Robinson drawings.
The story itself is relatively simple but there is sufficient detail for emerging readers to enjoy. Indeed, you probably need to be at the older end of the age range to enjoy the subtle humour in Ogie’s conversations with the various members of his family. For example, I couldn’t help smiling when his sister forces Ogie to accept that his missing blanket is smelly and full of holes. I also enjoyed the references to the way Grandad is always losing things – including Grandma!
The story has an interesting twist at the end, including an unusual conclusion. I won’t tell you the twist but the conclusion [spoiler don’t read on if you don’t want to know] is very different from the traditional tale of a lost comforter. Instead, of finding his special blue blanket, Ogie has to accept the loss and finds a substitute that’s just as good.
Given this book has such an unusual format, it’s not possible to recommend a similar book. However, emerging readers who enjoyed this book might also like the heavily illustrated books by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntryre. I particularly enjoyed Pugs of the Frozen North and The Legend of Kevin.
Date: February 2019
Publisher: Shrine Bell