Gremlins, you know, the saboteurs from the supernatural, naughtier than piskies and scorned brownies, not quite as horrible as goblins though, Or the things that happen to cute little mogwais if you feed them after midnight.
This deliciously dark humoured and stunning visual picture book from sibling duo Lizzie and Tom Exton blends together the same perfect dose of black humour with dashes of folklore and amazing graphic novel style illustrations.
A brilliant step between picture books to highly illustrated fiction and graphic novels.
Gordon is a Gremlin and he is a proper menace, from prodding and picking at the food in the fridge to disappearing socks , jumbling cables and disappearing keys and purses, he doesn’t make life easy for the humans he secretly shares a house with.
But one day after much banging and scraping Gordon finds the house empty, and he begins to miss the company he once had.
But before you think it’s going twee you must remember Gordon is first and foremost, a Gremlin, harbinger of mischief and this won’t necessarily end the way you are expecting.
Gremlins have always been a fascination for me since as a child from Thomas the Tank and friends dealing with gremlins to when I read about airmen in World War Two claiming to see little goblin-like creatures sabotaging plane parts mid flight. It’s something in our marrow, to give a name to the unexplained or unexplainable, to want to see something beyond this mundane world into the spectacular.
This Gremlin has the great tradition of being an utter bad word and stirring up trouble, but this time it’s in a house setting. This Gremlin has echoes of The Borrowers and Scandinavian Tomte the latter where a Fae creature inhabits the homestead and does certain tasks which can be helpful and cannot leave but if his family are bad or disrespectful he can get quite nasty- quite similar to British Brownies who have been blamed for centuries for spoiling the milk.
Gordon is a delight to read for children who enjoy darkly funny books such as The Hat Trilogy and Shape trilogy both illustrated by Jon Klassman and the latter written by Mac Barnett. If your child is sensitive about creatures under the bed then this probably isn’t the book for them BUT if they giggle at the idea of trouble and mischief (and absolutely not eating hat-thieving bunnies) then they may find Gordon a creative edition to their collection.
Tom Exton’s illustrations are nothing short of jaw dropping in their depth and quality, with a rich immersive feel that you could get lost in the little details. The dark and moody palette with muddy shadowy qualities only enhances the sense of mood throughout lifting and brightening as Gordon cheers up.
Overall, this is a really different children’s book, the nuances and journey make it a fun ride where you think you are being led in one direction only for the black humour to come and tickle you throughly at the end!
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Gordon the Gremlin- Lizzie Exton & Tom Exton is published by Tiny Tree Books.
thank you so much for my copy 💜