Goblin Hood is a rhyming picture book that’s a Halloween-themed homage to the goodhearted knave Robin Hood. In Scarewood forest, gremlins make candy all year long. But an evil witch tries to swipe their sweets. Luckily, the green Goblin Hood is there to save the day.
Even though the meter isn’t smooth in a couple of spots, kids will enjoy seeing the gremlin’s factory filled with candy as well as the evil witch getting her just desserts. It’s not clear how Goblin Hood discovers the witch’s hostile takeover. Also, Goblin Hood manages to overcome the witch so quickly that an opportunity to create more tension was missed. More effort involved in thwarting the witch would have raised the story tension and contrasted nicely with the humor of seeing her bound to a chair using different treats. The wise Goblin Hood gets the penitent witch to help make candy for the rest of the year, giving the story the positive theme of forgiving enemies and turning them into allies.
The artwork nicely supports the story with vivid, non-scary images, although observant kids may wonder why the gremlins have tails in most, but not all, of the scenes.
Grosset & Dunlap
Sue Fliess • Piper Thibodeau, Illustrator