Review: Cat Dad, King of the Goblins

by Andy Wolverton

Cat Dad, King of the Goblins – Britt Wilson (Koyama Press)

Things are a little crazy at Miri and Luey’s house. Their mom turned their dad into a cat, which didn’t seem like such a bad idea until their dad slipped out of the house and went missing. Miri (age 5) and Luey (age 10) enlist the help of their friend Phil, who’s a frog. Phil’s always eager to hang out with the sisters,cat_dad even when they’re having a crisis. (It’s much better than being at home, where Phil has 500 brothers and sisters to keep up with.) As they search for their dad, Miri, Luey, and their friend Phil are captured by an army of purple-skinned goblins. And just what are the goblins planning on doing to their dad?

If Cat Dad, King of the Goblins sounds like a wacky kids’ graphic novel, it’s because that’s just what it is. Britt Wilson (Britt Wilson’s Greatest Book on Earth) has created a fun, colorful romp that kids who might be a little too young for Adventure Time will understand and enjoy. The story begins in a rather matter-of-fact way: we don’t know how or why Miri and Luey’s father has been turned into a cat, but it doesn’t matter. Once he escapes, the adventure begins, and although the book is only 50 pages long, there’s plenty of action on every page.

Wilson’s art is filled with clear lines featuring actions and facial expressions that are fairly easy to follow. While purple seems to predominate, Wilson’s color choices are not only effective, but her use of color in the book’s many sound effects creates an added bonus without being distracting. The humor is funny without being too cute, and although the “family member being turned into an animal” is a somewhat familiar theme of kids’ stories, Wilson’s imagination takes the reader (young or old) through some unexpected and surprising territory. I hope we’ll see more from these characters. I believe most children will hope so too.

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