Gibblewort the goblin series by Victor Kelleher
Illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Random House Australia, 2010.
(Ages 7-10 years) This year sees a new edition of the popular series of stories featuring an ugly, disgruntled and mischievous goblin, Gibblewort, who originally posts himself from rainy, soggy Ireland to Australia, in the hope that life will improve. It does not take long for things to go wrong as he confronts the climate and wildlife of Australia; life is better in Ireland he decides!
Throughout the series, Gibblewort makes numerous trips home but is soon posted back to various parts of Australia by his goblin friends. For the likes of this goblin, nowhere makes him happy. His looks, smells, habits and his generally unfortunate nature, mean that he experiences all sorts of tricky situations and surprising adventures.
The author uses this cleverly constructed early chapter book series to show the abundance of interesting wildlife, weather and landscapes making up Australia. Stephen Michael King's delightful black pen and wash drawings give life to Gibblewort's adventures and add a good deal of humour and anticipation. The human characters are especially quirky - snow skiers, surfers, greenies, zookeepers and city folk - all with their own way of dealing with this menace!
The descriptive writing is excellent, and the style and language will extend the new reader. The adventures of Gibblewort are sure to please.
The books are Goblin in the Bush; Goblin on the Reef; Goblin in the City; Goblin in the Rainforest; Goblin at the Zoo; Goblin in the Snow; and Goblin at the Beach.