A Beautiful Tale Beautifully Rendered

Imelda & the Goblin King, by Briony May Smith, (Nobrown Ltd.) 32 pages, release date 20 October, 2015

I’m consistently impressed by the high-quality picture books published by Nobrow. By picture books, I don’t mean those wordless things with ducky pictures that babies often use for teething—I mean books in which the pictures are absolutely essential to the narrative. In these kinds of picture books, the pictures tell us a much richer story than would the words alone. Imelda & the Goblin King is the sort of feast for the eye—and the imagination—that I’ve come to expect from Nobrow.

Lucky Imelda lives near a fairy forest and the fairies there are her playmates. They spend their days happily together, and Imelda eagerly learns fairy lore—particularly the effects of different forest plants.

The happiness of the fairies and Imelda is threatened by the Goblin King, a great bully determined to rule the forest through fear. When the Goblin King kidnaps the Fairy Queen, Imelda has to think of way to rescue her friend—one that will give the Goblin King exactly what he deserves.

Imelda & the Goblin King is a wonderful read-to-me book. Its illustrations also provide plenty of potential for day dreaming and the spinning of new stories. This is a book that children will pull off the shelf again and again—and one that adults won’t tire of quickly, despite the requests for multiple rereadings.


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