Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

TREE GOBLINS by David Melling – my review no.44

on 03/01/2016


Witty and relatable;)

When you are a fantasy fan and a children’s books fan, such as myself, and a parent and teacher as well, one of your ideas of fun is reading witty, intelligent books which can make you laugh, feel good, relate to everyday life (metaphorically, of course) and leave you wanting for more. And if possible, a good book should inspire us to share it with someone.

This book does all that, topping the reading cake with wonderful illustrations which go hand in hand with the story. It is impossible to envision one wihout the other. Some goblins do remind me of some people I know, which makes me recommend it heartily to adults, not just kids.

The introductory pages offer a funny description of characters, which will have you chuckling from page one. I couldn’t help but hear (in my head) the voice of Hugh Laurie (his British English version) reading it aloud. When was the last time a book had you laughing out loud or at least chuckling?


The story itself reads almost like a play, and invites creative storytelling. I will not write any spoilers, save for a few comments – three eggs certainly can cause havoc and excitement you wouldn’t believe. Creatures such as all manner of goblins, a ground-bat, and a snootle-pig are only glimpses into what awaits you in the Wandering Wood. (Brief note to parents – if you sometimes feel like Butterfingers or Mildew, know that you are not alone.)

Tree Goblins are a welcome addition to our family collection of books by author and illustrator David Melling. My only tiny regret, knowing the beautiful renditions of Hugless Douglas, The Tale of Jack Frost and other books, is that these Tree Goblins’ illustrations are black-and-white. The language flows in a recognizable humorous style and even the chapter titles lend themselves to puns.

It can be quite difficult nowadays to come by a fantasy book for children which doesn’t involve brutality and death, so coming across a book which has funny goblins and talking trees, who also teach us a lot about patience, family and friendship, is a miracle to cherish. Enjoy it with your kids, let them enjoy it for themselves, and then sneak off with it and read it again, just for yourself, drawing comparisons with the real world. To quote the author…
‘If a bit of luck comes your way, it really is a good idea to make sure you keep hold of it.’


This book on amazon


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