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Comment: A clean ex library issue hardback with usual marks and clean and clear mylar jacket. The text is clean and free from other imperfections. Good corners and spine.
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Hob and the Goblins Hardcover – September 15, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Appearing in his first full-length novel, Hob, the benevolent house ghost who has previously appeared in the British author's picture books, here adopts a family moving into an old country house. Unbeknownst to Mr. and Mrs. Grimes, their new home, known as Fairy Ring Cottage, contains "a door to the goblin country." The children, Tom and Meg, can see Hob, and they also sense danger before their parents do. But, after a terrifying climax which chaotically and violently combines a goblin king and his goblin followers, a band of dwarves, a witch, a possessed bus and a stolen pot of magical gold, Mr. Grimes, too, recognizes the presence-as well as the benefits-of their whimsical, worry-wart and interestingly maternal house spirit. Each of the characters is fully believable, including the supernatural Hob (who, disarmingly, refers to himself in the third person: "That's what we want most.... A bit of normal: family round the fire, Hob in the hearth"). Mayne is remarkably deft at opening up a fantasy realm to readers of all ages through his playful prose, which twists and stretches to create sly humor, earnest sympathy and, at times, genuine darkness. Ages 8-11.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-This well-written fantasy expands the adventures of Mayne's home-loving hero, Hob. The swift-moving and original plot sweeps readers into a magical world of goblins, gremlins, witches, and dwarfs, in which a classic confrontation between good and evil comes to a comically surprising ending. This time around, Hob moves in with the Grimes family: father, mother, sister, brother, and baby. Attempting to make a spooky old cottage cozy, the Grimeses are largely unaware of the evil forces that surround them. Hob, whose usual task is to combat everyday problems such as "floorshiver" or "plastercrack," is daunted at the prospect of standing up to the local witch, a horde of goblins, and the monstrous goblin king. However, he manages to acquire the necessary swords from the dwarfs and, along with the children, defends the family and their home. Previous acquaintance with Hob is not necessary to enjoy this title, but familiarity with folktale conventions and a somewhat sophisticated ear for language will help young listeners to follow the story. Mayne's writing style is deceptively simple, presenting a complex, fanciful world in a matter-of-fact manner. His quiet humor enhances the book's appeal, as do the cleverly illustrated initials at the start of each chapter. A perfect choice for readers with a taste for classic fantasy.
Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: DK CHILDREN; 1st American ed edition (September 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564587134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564587138
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As one who works in a school, I can now scarcely wait for school to start so I can share this with the kids. The imaginative langauge used to describe inanimate objects as Hob sees them opens new ways of viewing the world. The adventure comes full circle and by the end of what could have been, but isn't, a very pat goblin it is impossible not to want a Hob around the house. The letters used to begin each chapter are alone worth the price of the book. This is one book that I can't imagine not reading again and again for a new look at the world.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I recently read Hob aloud to two kids (10 and 12) and we all had a ball. Every single time one of the kids had a question Mayne answered it in the very next sentence. He seems to have an almost magical understanding of the way kids' minds work. Hob's particular take on the world has warped us forever
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Bonavia VINE VOICE on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Mayne looked at the word "hobgoblins" and decided it would be better split in two. So he invented Hob, the existential Puck-like sprite full of goodwill, self-doubt, forgetfulness, unexpected courage, and lots of magic. A marvellous creation!

Then Mayne placed him at the center of a revisiting of old legends - the fairy world where time doesn't pass, the crock of gold, the goblins, the nasty witch with her familiar. All set in and around an old no-mod-cons cottage in the heart of Wales, where a London bus-driver and his family have come to stay. Little did they know the cottage was a gateway to the land of Faerie, where their great-great-uncle had gone and was about to return having stolen the crock of gold, and even less did they realize that goblins do not take kindly to having their gold stolen. . .

Mayne is an excellent stylist, with a crisp, no-words-wasted use of language. No purple patches here. A particular charm is that cause and effect, or owner and owned, are neatly turned inside out: here's Hob remembering a time when he wore clothes (not a good idea for Hob, distracts him from his duties):

"There had been laces full of shoe, holes full of sock. The laces had become wildly undone, tripped Hob up and escaped with the shoes and the socks.

He had had pockets with breeches, a row of neat little holes with a belt round them and a buckle to keep them together. The breeches had vanished when the holes in the belt ganged up and stopped working."

A total delight for, as the saying goes, "children of all ages."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book Collector on January 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A great little book to kickstart a lifetime of reading.

I'd buy this book for any kid's gift-getting occasion :-)

Wonderful read-aloud story.
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By CD on October 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I LOVE this little book! The writing is quite unique and creative. Readers of all ages will enjoy this book. Hob is quite an endearing character - I will not forget him anytime soon. This book is highly recommended!
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