Monday, 16 June 2008

Goblins - Brian Froud

****June 17 Note: A very kind blogger, Hector Ugalde Uch left a comment with a link to the Brian Froud covers. A very big thank you to him. And, he has an amazing site devoted to pop-up books at that is well worth visiting.******

According to, the only review says: "This is the only pop-up book Brian has ever done and is an absolute family classic and a complete rarity as it was only published in 1983. Contains beautiful, detailed illustrations and amazing pop-up mechanics that literally bring this book alive. Incredible!"

This is the book I found at Holly-Anne's school fair a week ago. It is in pretty good condition, and for the Out of Time 2 Challenge I decided to forgo British Folk Tales by Katherine Briggs, for this one. And, it is as the above quote says, incredible. The illustrations are in colour, and the story is about a little girl named Myrtle who is taken to the woods to see goblins by Edward. She keeps saying she doesn't see any goblins.....but of course, we do! I have not shown this yet to my kids (even though i bought it for them) for fear I won't get it back or it will get ripped. I love it already! The goblins ARE scary, and hidden in trees, behind rocks, in the ground, even the trees have faces. She sees a fairy ring but no goblins even though they fill the entire page and pop out at the reader!! She even finds a stone with a hole through it, but still can't see any goblins. This is a delightful, wonderful book for the whole family to read and enjoy together. Can you find the goblins? How many can you see? you'd say to the children, and try to count how many on each page. The illustrations are rich - not bright colours, but earth colours of brown and green and tan, as befitting goblins, creatures of the earth that they are. While the goblins have threatening expressions, the spirit of the book and the two characters is so much fun that any child couldn't help but laugh even if the goblins scared them! Myrtle is so convinced there aren't any that even when they jump out, she can't see them!

This was a real find, a real treasure. And I guess tomorrow - and on June 20, the summer solstice, a magical time of year! - I will let my kids look at the pictures and maybe pull at the flaps.........Books are meant to be loved, after all, and I want my children to have a sense of wonder and magic and believe that fairies are possible....though after reading the stories in The Fair Folk, I'm not sure I want to meet any!

I will save British Folk Tales for next year. I do want to read it, I'm just not in the mood and am running out of time. Once I saw Goblins, I realized I wanted something fun, since alot of my reading for this challenge has been serious and big books! Since I don't own any books by artists of fantasy or fairies, this is my first picture book with that feeling of Faerie. And of Puck, and Will Shakespeare, who I am reading on Friday night in honour of the solstice, as Carl mentions in his post for the OUT2.

The book ends with the little phrase "Where Thorn-trees abound
There Goblins be found"

I'm counting this book as my folk-tale entry into the Out of Time 2 Challenge.

This was fun!!


Chris said...

I love Brian Froud. He's always been one of my favorite artists and his goblins have always been my favorites (Megan loves his fairies ;) I'll definitely have to check this one out! I love pop-up books too!

DesLily said...

this still sounds great! no fair not to have photo's! hahaha.. I hope one day you get some pics of it!!!

Hector Ugalde UCH said...

The book seems to be interesting!

I found images of the cover and the back of the book in (not uk):

And a fun web site in:

I am a pop-up book lover and I have a blog about the theme in:

It's in spanish but it has a lot of images and links.

Nymeth said...

This sounds so cool! Like Chris I love Froud's Goblins. I have an old Goblins calendar with hilarious text by Terry Jones that is just awesome.

Susan said...

chris: so you like goblins better than fairies!! I hope you can find a copy of this book - currently it's on for $24!! used, of course. It's such a fun book, though!

deslily: thanks to hector, I now have the cover on my post....but no pics yet, soon, though I hope to let everyone have a peek!!

hector: I've just been to your blog, and it is such a labor of love to pop-up books! And thanks so much for coming by and leaving me the Froud link, I've used it already to add that cover to my post!! muchas gracias! I know a little (very little!) Spanish so I was able to find my around your site.

nymeth: your calendar sounds sooo cool! Don't suppose you can do a post and show some pics, can you? *wistfully said* 'cause I can't remember anything by Terry Jones with Goblins! Wow. It sound so awesome. Some things are just collector's items, aren't they?

DesLily said...

No Fair! lol.. now I want this book!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful. I haven't come across Froud, but must see if this is available in the UK as I have a couple of small godchildren who would love it.

Carl V. said...

How incredibly fun. I had no idea he ever did a pop up book. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for a copy for myself!

Maw Books said...

Oh man, that cover is just calling to me! I must check this out, it looks way too cute!

Rhinoa said...

Looks like a lovely book. I really like his artwork and am glad you enjoyed it. I keep meaning to read some Katherine Briggs, but not this year. Sounds like it's time to go goblin hunting...!

lichtfus said...

Wonderful, i love the work of Brian Froud!
You are welcome in my homepage drawing.