Ginny Goblin Cannot Have a Monster for a Pet
Written by David Goodner
Illustrated by Louis Thomas
Published July 23, 2019
Why we chose this book:
We loved Ginny Goblin is Not Allowed to Open this Box and could hardly wait to read about her again! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The premise of Ginny Goblin Cannot Have a Monster for a Pet is that Ginny needs a pet better suited to the house than a herd of goats. Ginny adores goats, but the narrator explains that "goats are kind of stinky, and it's a lot of work to take care of them." The narrator then addresses the reader, inviting him or her to escort Ginny to different locales where she might catch a nice little pet, such as a hermit crab or a bunny. Ginny evades the cutesy options, however, in favor of monsters. The narrator reiterates the titular edict that "Ginny Goblin cannot have a monster for a pet" each time; the repetition naturally invites young readers to chime in.
Ginny is clever, happy, and a bit mischievous, which makes reading about her pure fun. The narrator's tone is also easy to identify with – a combination of forthright, gently scolding, and exasperated by Ginny's pet choices. Although the characters are mythical, it is so easy to imagine Ginny's antics in the real world. In response to her goats being blacklisted, she selects increasingly terrible monsters. At the conclusion, she is allowed a baby goat, which does not pose any of the problems her other choices did. The final lines, "Wait a minute. Didn't I say something about goats in the house?" incite laughter and an appreciation for how cannily she approaches problems. I'm crossing my fingers that T won't start negotiating with the "I could want something worse" ploy. We love Ginny Goblin and how her ingenuity and independence cause no real harm but lean toward trouble.
And I also liked how her blanket on the final page is the same print as the endpaper from the first book. I am hoping that I should read something into the new endpaper.
Ginny Goblin is delightful!
On his favorite page:
"[The] baby goat. I like when it's being held. I wish I could hold a baby goat."
On his preferred pet:
"I would want a basilisk for a pet. A basilisk to turn anybody who is being mean to me into stone. Then they wouldn't be mean anymore. I never heard of a basilisk [before]. Did you?"
On his favorite setting:
"I like when she goes to the beach but goes down underwater, and when she goes into space, and when she goes into the mountain. I like every page!"
On friendship with Ginny:
"Yes [I would befriend her]. I would wear sunglasses all the time, but herding goats – a goat might bonk me on the head with its horns, so I should wear wear a helmet and also armor."
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