The Gobblings by Matthue Roth
Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: P – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: One Peace Books (December 16, 2014)
Genre: Picture book
Source: From publisher for review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Herbie is lonely. His parents moved to a space station in the middle of nowhere, and there’s nothing to do. He spends a lot of time wandering in the ship’s ventilator shafts, and if he wants to have any friends, he has to build them out of spare parts. Deep inside the ship, Herbie discovers that a herd of gobblings have landed–monsters who float through space and love to eat metal. And the closest and biggest hunk of metal is the space station they live on. The gobblings are crawling throughout the ship, ready to make it their dinner, and Herbie’s the only one who can stop them! The Gobblings is a loose retelling of an old Hasidic folktale, “The Alef Bet.” A boy is wandering through a strange town where he doesn’t know anybody. It’s Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, but nobody’s prayers in the entire town are working. The boy only knows the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the Alef-Bet. So he says the letters, and the honesty and simplicity of his prayer go through the Gates of Heaven (okay, in our story, it’s the landing bay on the space station) and save everybody.
About the Author:
Matthue Roth is a Hasidic author, slam poet, and screenwriter. His first book, Never Mind the Goldbergs, was an ALA Popular Paperback in Religion and a NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age.
He’s also written a memoir about becoming Orthodox (Yom Kippur a Go-Go), a supermodel spy caper (Candy in Action), and a cover of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” starring Russian Jewish immigrants (Losers).
By day, he is a video game designer, and co-created the irreverent Biblical YouTube series G-dcast. Matthue lives with his family in Brooklyn, and he keeps a secret online diary at www.matthue.com.
The Gobblings was an interesting picture book. It was kind of strange, but not in a bad way. It wasn’t your typical picture book with adorable characters and a funny story. Herbie and his parents live on a space ship in the middle of nowhere (literally). Herbie spends most of his days alone, ignored by his parents. One day, Herbie discovers that their ship is slowly being eaten by gobblings and since his parents won’t listen, it’s up to Herbie to save the day.
Even though this book was darker than I’m used to seeing in a picture book, I still really liked it. I read it to my kids and they both liked it, too. It had enough suspense that my kids worried about Herbie, but not so much that it frightened them.
The illustrations, like the story, are kind of dark, yet very interesting. They are fun to look at and they carry the story well. My kids liked pointing out all the gobblings and talking about how weird they were.
Source: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.