Little Goblins Ten

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Little Goblins Ten Book Poster Image
Spooky update of classic nursery rhyme fun for Halloween.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This fun 1-to-10 counting book familiarizes kids with the main characters associated with Halloween -- witches, ghosts, mummies, skeletons, goblins, bats, werewolves, zombies, etc. -- and what action they are known for. For example, "We haunt" say the ghosts, "We cackle" say the witches, "We rattle," say the skeletons, and "We stare" say the zombies. It is also a good introduction to poetry, showing how fun rhyming can be.

Positive Messages

The dark forest can be a fun place if you don't mind passing a few monsters, skeletons, ghosts, goblins, etc.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The mommy monster is loving to her son and helps him have fun on Halloween. All of the spooky characters are friendly and upbeat.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this rhyming romp is based on the classic nursery rhyme "Over in the Meadow." The "little monster one" meets many Halloween-ish characters before he gets to the "little goblins ten," but they are all cute and funny, not scary.

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What's the story?

A \"big mommy monster\" sends her \"little monster one\" into the dark forest to do what he does best: \" 'Scare!' said the mommy;/ 'I scare,' said the one./ So he scared and he scampered/Where the trees hide the sun.\" Each double-page spread shows Halloweenish characters, and the clever counting scheme builds to the \"little goblins ten\" of the title -- \"ghosties two,\" \"zombies three,\" \"(were) wolves four,\" \"mummies five,\" etc. It ends with Mommy bringing treats to put in the little monster's trick-or-treat bag.

Is it any good?

The rhymes are infectious and use creative verbs for the action of each creature. "We stare," say the zombies as their big green googly eyes pop out of their weird purple faces. The fun and silly watercolor illustrations are wonderful. Even creepy creatures like the "little skellies eight" and the "little batties nine" have friendly faces.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what their favorite Halloween characters are, and which are scariest. Would you be scared if you ran across these creatures in a dark forest? What is it about the art that makes them not too scary?

  • This story is told in a repetitive rhyming structure, like many nursery rhymes. What's fun about reading that kind of a book out loud?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Halloween

Themes & Topics

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