Ginny Goblin Cannot Have a Monster for a Pet by David Goodner, illustrated by Louis Thomas


A1e-pE2SHWL._AC_UY218_ML3_Ginny Goblin Cannot Have a Monster for a Pet by David Goodner, illustrated by Louis Thomas. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544764163, 2019

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Picture book

 What did you like about the book? This book will definitely have children giggling at the crazy antics of Ginny Goblin. Ginny loves all animals and she especially loves having goats as pets. However, she notices that they are messy, stinky, and a lot of work, so Ginny goes off in search of a new pet–and this is the part where the story gets really silly. She starts her search by arming herself with a huge net, a bear trap and driving a large tank. We now know what kind of animal Ginny has in mind for a pet. A suggestion is made for a tropical fish or a small hermit crab, but Ginny sets off in a submarine to find a terrible kraken. This type of behavior continues throughout the book–instead of a cute fluffy bunny, she goes searching for a dragon, instead of a bird, she is looking for a basilisk, and instead of just enjoying the space museum, Ginny borrows a rocket ship and travels to space in search of a space creature. All that searching leads Ginny back to where she started–she is now going to have a cute baby goat as her new pet.

There are funny, repetitive parts in the book where Ginny is making the wrong decision. “Ginny Goblin should not go hunting in the spooky, twisty part of the forest where all the trees are dead and the grass is scorched. She should not make a cage trap from ropes and sticks, or bait it with cupcakes. She unequivocally should not catch a basilisk in her trap.” It is during these parts that a silly, dramatic reading would be fun with young kids.

The devious mind of Ginny is perfectly captured in the illustrations provided by Louis Thomas. When she is presented with the idea of a “safe” pet, Ginny’s expression is disappointed and discouraged. However, when Ginny is in search of her idea of a perfect pet she has a mischievous grin on her face and a look of complete determination. I think kids will get a kick out of seeing this throughout the book.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book? I would recommend this book to children between the ages of three and five. This would be a great book to read aloud and to engage the children in the parts where Ginny is being very naughty. I could also see this book working for children who are preparing for a new pet–it is silly, but definitely gets kids in the mood for the new addition to the family.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary libraries, preschools, daycare centers, anyone that works with children between the ages of three and five.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, this is a great book to read aloud during story time–it would be a huge hit!

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: February 7, 2020

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, *Starred Review, David Goodner, Louis Thomas, Pets and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.