Review: Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

Role reversal in a High Fantasy world.

Publication date: 7th June 2016
Publisher: First Second Books

In a world of fantastical creatures, elves and adventurers, it seems like there’s no place for Goblin. When his best friend Skeleton is cruelly taken as loot, he has to leave his cave and enter this hostile world, but it turns out that more people like goblins than you might think.

Nobody Likes a Goblin ticked all the boxes for me. It’s funny, fantastically illustrated and has a well-executed plot. The humour appeals to young readers as well as adults, especially those with knowledge of high fantasy tropes, along the lines of Dungeons and Dragons. There are even multiple threads which come together at the end, something which is not easily done in the confines of a picture book. This is a great achievement on Hatke’s part.

The illustrations are wonderful, with consistent attention to detail. Hatke obviously also has a tendency towards ‘easter eggs’, as the book is peppered with entertaining elements hidden in the background. The characters are remarkably expressive and the landscapes are portrayed with a depth which contributes to the fantastical atmosphere.

I recommend this picture book to readers of all ages – it has all the qualities of a great book. In terms of illustration, let’s just say that there are pages in there that I’d like to have as prints on my wall. Nobody Likes a Goblin is a fantastic read, and I’ll be keeping an eye on Hatke.



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