CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 14 . . . . December 5, 2014
And so begins Britt Wilson’s remarkably imaginative graphic novel Cat Dad, King of the Goblins. Luey and Miri are sisters who live a not so normal life. Luey’s best friend Phil is a frog, and the girls’ mother has magical powers that have somehow turned their father into a cat for no apparent reason. These magical powers ultimately lead them on a fantastical journey into their very own linen closet.
The graphic novel begins with Luey, Miri and Phil working at the kitchen table when their father (the cat) comes running through the kitchen in a hurry, followed quickly by their mother. A chase ensues throughout the house as Miri grabs hold of their father’s tail and is dragged into the hallway closet. Luey and Phil then open the linen closet to find that is has been transformed into a goblin kingdom.
Once inside the goblin kingdom, Luey and Phil are captured by goblins and taken to their colony where they encounter Miri who explains that their mother has moved the herb garden into the linen closet because the goblins were eating the herbs for sustenance. All three children try to escape from the goblins and wind up in the secret lair of the goblin king who, surprisingly, turns out to be their dad, the cat. The children learn that it was their father (the cat) who told the goblins where their mother moved the herb garden, and, in doing so, allowed them to survive. The children then create a rescue plan, hoping to return their dad home. Things don’t go quite as expected since the goblins won’t give up their king without a fight. Not surprisingly, the children win out in the end and bring their dad home.
Readers of Cat Dad, King of the Goblins will notice that the plot is a little weak and disjointed at times, often jumping from one plot point to another without any real cohesion. I found it odd that Britt Wilson did not explain what “powers” the girls’ mother has, nor does she explain why their dad is a cat in the first place. However, the novel’s graphics totally make up for its lack of plot. The colours are vibrant and literally pop off the page. The dark purples and reds of the goblin colony allow the reader to feel immersed in the land of the goblins. Likewise, the three dimensional quality of the drawings bring Luey and Miri’s world alive. As the children are making their way home, readers can literally see both the fear and elation that their escape has generated. In the end, I would recommend Cat Dad, King of the Goblins for all readers who enjoy fantasy and love to lose themselves in a good book.
Teresa Iaizzo is a Senior Library Assistant with the Toronto Public Library.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.