Friday, July 22, 2011

Children's Book Review: The Rainbow Goblins

Name of Book: The Rainbow Goblins
Author / Illustrator: Ul De Rico
What It's All About: Goblins who feast on the colors of the rainbow come to the valley where rainbows are born to steal the rainbows away and eat them.  The valley knows of the goblins arrival and make a plan to thwart the wicked creatures.  Led by the devious Yellow, the goblins take their rainbow-catching nets and move stealthily through the grass to where a rainbow is forming.  Just as they throw their nets into the air, the rainbow disappears.  The nets, empty of their prey, fall back on the goblins and ensnare them.  When the goblins are well and truly caught, the flowers release the colors of the rainbow that they have hidden from the goblin.  The colors pour out and drown the goblins and the rainbow, to thank the flowers who have saved it, turn them into beautiful rainbow birds who fly across the valley in freedom. 
My Favorite Bit: My favorite bit is the sunset and moonscape on two of the pages.  They are really fantasy perfect.  As a child I also loved the page where the flowers became birds.

Suitable Age For Reading It To: This story is a dark fairytale and I would suggest waiting until your child is at least five or six (if they are used to fairytales) and seven if they aren't.  The very nature of the pictures and the bright almost nightmarish grins of the goblins keep this story in the older kids section.  The demise of the goblins is just but they are shown drowned in the rainbow colors with one's bottom afloat and one's mouth open and all their eyes rolled back.  It's not a pretty sight.  But, this remains a great and beautiful story. 
Go Get It: The Rainbow Goblins hardback at Amazon US
A Little About The Author / Illustrator: Ul de Rico (full name Ulderico Gropplero di Troppenburg) was born in 1944 in Udine, Italy.  He wrote a sequel to the story above called The White Goblin and was also a major contributore to the film The NeverEnding Story.  The style he used in both books was oil-on-oak panels, giving them a grainy yet vivid look.  (Found this info in his wikipedia article.)  Find more of his works at his site:

Ul de Rico


  1. Primus used this story for their album The Desaturating Seven. I think they covered the narrative really well, check it out!