This is an enjoyable, nicely written kids’ book for, I
guess, the middle school, pre-teen age group – it also has some wonderful illustrations. Lis writes well in the first-person viewpoint
of a young boy who finds and befriends a cute little alien. It is easy to see why this lovely author has
received the plaudits she has for her children’s writing – she certainly
With more than a touch of E.T. about the story, it
is good, naïve and harmless fun, with a little suspense and adventure thrown
in. Thankfully, although there are a couple
of geekily inept antagonists, it avoids the more serious themes of being hunted
by shady government agents and life-threatening peril for poor little Gobbledy
which it might otherwise have included, opting instead for a more innocent
appeal – this is a book, rightly, exclusively for youngsters, and there is no
need for a Spielberg degree level of threat.
That said, it does still tackle the serious issue of death and
bereavement, and how it is understood by children, adults and aliens alike – at
moments in a heartbreaking fashion.
I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing is suitably articulate for all
age groups, and the heroes are good kids, happily navigating their innocent
little world. I wonder if perhaps a
little more action could have been afforded to the story, and while I really
enjoyed the drawings (which brought to mind early editions of Willy Wonka
or The Wizard of Oz), I did think at moments that a few more might have
been nice – specifically of Gobbledy himself.
I would recommend this book for kids of that particular age group, and
would be interested to know where the adventures of this group of friends lead
them in future tales of Gobbledy – nowhere too serious, I hope.
In : Book Reviews