Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: There's a Stinky Goblin in the Shed by Andrea Kaczmarek

by Andrea Kaczmarek
Illustrated by Eva Künzel
Middle Grade Fantasy
88 pages
ages 8 to 12

Jerry and Jacob clean out Gran’s old garden shed to make a den, but on their first late-night walk in the woods behind it, they come across a very strange, grubby little person and their problems begin. A small pile of rags that can talk! The boys want to run away fast, but they take pity on the strange creature. They promise to try and get it back to its own world – GoblinLand.

Hiding a goblin in their den is a full time job. But in the end they find out that Hob had upset an elf, could that be the clue they need? But if the twins think that helping out their grubby goblin friend is the end of the story – they are very very wrong! Once you have let one goblin into your life…..the goblin door has opened!


Goblins are stinky. Goblins can't be trusted. Goblins are greedy. Especially when it gets into a shed! This is a fun story which mixes reality with a tad bit of fantastical silliness to create an adorable adventure.

Jerry and Jacob have actually convinced Grandma to let them borrow her shed for the summer as a clubhouse. They clean it out - lots of work! - and are even allowed to camp in it for the night. When strange noises after dark lead them to a lost goblin, the adventures begin.

What a fun read! Jerry and Jacob are two boys who simply want a clubhouse of their own--a dream many kids can sympathize with. They are pretty level headed, nice kids who get themselves in a bit of a pickle with a creature they aren't sure how to handle. But their kindness shines through as well as a load of patience. It's hard not to like the two as they scamper with ideas and ways to handle a pesky, stinky goblin.

The goblin, Hob, is a handful and brings a smile to the face. He isn't evil but gets into trouble. The antics are funny, and it's hard to guess what will happen next. He's a character to love.

There's a nice added twist about half way through, which throws the tale in a slightly different direction and gets even the Grandma involved. I love the way she handles things, a way only loving grandmas could. The kindness, warm-heartedness and understanding shines between all of the nonsense making this a read which puts a smile on the face in so many ways.

To liven up the pages, simple but lovely illustrations add an extra douse of humor. It is fun to run across them, especially when the depicted characters hold up a sign with their own comments, ones which cause a giggle or two. Hanging around 85 pages, this isn't a heavy read and won't scare even more reluctant readers away.

Summed up, this is an enjoyable adventure with a little bit of quirky fun, which is perfect for kids ages eight and up.

All about the author!

Born in Wales. Teacher training in Weymouth - married with two grown up children - and now grandmother to three amazing and clever kids. I was a Town Councillor for many years in Hamm with a great interest in integration and education. Today I still work on the Committee for Special Needs and I am Chair of the World of Reading - Lese Welt Hamm - bringing books and stories to children! I still organise art and English projects at my old school - great fun working with children from many different backgrounds. Children who enjoy stories and reading have a good start in life!

1 comment:

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Love the title! Sounds like a fun story. :)