Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Blind Boys of Alabama Learn more Fitbit



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 26 June 2003
I love this tale of cute little Gobbolino. It is a simple tale, yet also very charming. I loved it when I was a kid, and I still enjoy it now, and I'm approaching 30!
Little Gobbolino only wants to be a kitchen cat. But his Mother is the witch Graymalkin, and so Gobbolino has inherited witchy powers that most ordinary folk are highly suspicious of. It does end happily though, and it is a lovely little tale. Children (and adults) will love this!
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Have read this out loud to my six-year-old daughter. She is very taken with Gobbolino's regular career changes, as he starts out as a witch's cat, then becomes an orphanage cat, a show cat, a ship's cat, a royal cat, a Punch & Judy cat etc. etc., when all he really wants to do is become a kitchen cat.

This charming and sensitive story for 7+ self-readers was written in the 1940s, and is set in a slightly old-fashioned fairy-tale world of witches, knights, hobgoblins, and a variety of very human people. Gobbolino was born a witch's kitten, but he doesn't want to practise black magic. After his mistress the witch abandons him, he goes from household to household looking for a place as an ordinary kitchen cat, but everywhere there is a reason for his witch's cat past to surface and for him to be put back on the road again, sobbing as he goes at his constant rejection by the world.

It's actually very deep, and children can relate to being small, unloved and abandoned - but it's still cosy enough for bedtime!

I also first encountered the story when it was serialised in "Storyteller" magazine in the 1980s.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 February 2011
I have just finished reading this to my seven year old son, having loved it as a child myself. He was totally captivated by it, complete with gasps of 'Oh no!' and hoorays at the ups and down of the plot. We've also read 'Spid' and 'The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse', both of which he also loved. However, Gobbolino topped them all. I'd say they are the first books we've read together which have elicited such excited responses as we read them. Very easy to read out loud and a complete joy.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 17 November 2006
This book was read to my class in Infants School and it remains one of my favourite books 35 years later. The author has just died, I believe, aged 95. She wrote nearly 70 books and this is probably the best known. The language and style are beautifully crafted and it is a joy to read aloud. Gobbolino is a little kitten and he belongs to a bad tempered witch who gets irritated with him because he just wants to be a family pet, and is not as good a witch's cat as his sister, Sootica. If you want to find out whether he ever finds a family to love, you will need to read the book!
0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 June 2009
Gobbolino, a witch's feline endowed with unusual powers, is a charming little kitten who faces an identity crisis. Can he choose to be other than what he seems born to be, or does destiny mold him? Is compromise possible, or must he conform to others' expectations? Is appearance more important than reality?

One hardly expects most children's books written for this age level to grapple with such weighty issues, but Ursula Moray Williams's book does just that. Gobbolino cannot accept his destiny as a witch's familiar, and so he goes in search of a family that will accept him both for what he is and what he would like to be: A cat that leads an ordinary domestic life.

During his search for unconditional love and acceptance, Gobbolino meets primarily with bigotry and prejudice, although he encounters many kind characters, as well. Each chapter is a self-contained little adventure, which ends in a "cliff-hanging", suspenseful way in order to segue into the next chapter. Perhaps most poignant is the little tale of Gobbolino's adventures as he impersonates Toby the Dog in a traveling Punch-and-Judy show.

As the writer of the preface acknowledges, perhaps the one flaw of the book is that it is difficult to see how anyone could fail to love this little fellow. Nevertheless, circumstances conspire to deprive Gobbolino of a happy home until the very end. SPOILER ALERT: Another flaw, I feel, is this very ending. His supernatural powers finally removed, Gobbolino finds himself reunited with the very family whose father wanted to drown him at the beginning of the book for being a witch's cat! Now that Gobbolino is shorn of his powers, however, he finds acceptance within that family.

I am not certain that this message of extreme conformity is what Williams intended. I prefer to believe that she simply failed to think through the unpleasant implications of Gobblino's contentment at fitting in with a family whose head wanted to destroy him merely for being what he was born to be, through no fault of his own.

Still, the charm of Gobbolino and the interest of his varied adventures, as well as the deep questions that the book raises and embodies, are more than enough to compensate for the equivocal ending. I heartily recommend this book to parents of children in the appropriate age range, as well as to adults who retain their own childlike sense of adventure and love of animals.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 4 October 2012
I usually object to book's that replace illustrations I loved as a child with more modern fare. In this instance, however, it is impossible to object to the beautiful work of Catherine Rayner (reminiscent of her illustrations for 'Posy' by Linda Newbury). This anniversary edition is nothing less than Gobbolino deserves - a charming cat in a charming story. Joan Aiken's foreword is also well worth reading, though perhaps of more interests to those coming to the book for a second time; children will be rather more keen to get to grips with the story. Each chapter is head by one of Rayner's pitch-perfect illustrations and the text is set out in such a way as to make it attractive to younger readers. A lovely edition that should please old fans and, hopefully, create new ones.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 September 2003
I read this book when I was in juniors school (year 6) i've loved it so much, it's just a fantastic read. So much so i even named my cat after it, he's 15 now.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 4 January 2011
Charming and delightful story of a little blue-eyed cat's adventures as he attempts to find an ordinary loving home instead of serving his entire life as a 'Witch's Cat'.

One of the best and most enchanting stories/chapters in my opinion is 'The little Princess' which is delightful in its story-telling.

In another; two Knights compete for the hand of a lady who spends her days alone shut up in a Tower in the middle of a lonely Forest with only an old maid and 'Gobbolino' for company! I could read this story over and over again...

Enchanting illustrations done in the old style accompany these enthralling adventures in the 'Kingfisher Classics' Edition. Each chapter encompasses a different temporary home little Gobbolino manages to find; featuring Witches, Princesses, Punch and Judy, and other animals - there's even a 'Hobgoblin'!

'Gobbolino The Woodcutter' is also another of my favourites, as I love any story with a Witch - and the more wicked the better!!

Simply Magic!

ADVENTURE HIGHLIGHTS; 'Hobgoblin', 'The Little Princess', 'Punch And Judy', 'Gobbolino In The Tower' and 'Gobbolino The Woodcutter'.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 4 January 2011
Charming and delightful story of a little blue-eyed cat's adventures as he attempts to find an ordinary loving home instead of serving his entire life as a 'Witch's Cat'.

One of the best and most enchanting stories/chapters in my opinion is 'The little Princess' which is delightful in its story-telling.

In another; two Knights compete for the hand of a lady who spends her days alone shut up in a Tower in the middle of a lonely Forest with only an old maid and 'Gobbolino' for company! I could read this story over and over again...

Enchanting illustrations done in the old style accompany these enthralling adventures in the 'Kingfisher Classics' Edition. Each chapter encompasses a different temporary home little Gobbolino manages to find; featuring Witches, Princesses, Punch and Judy, and other animals - there's even a 'Hobgoblin'!

'Gobbolino The Woodcutter' is also another of my favourites, as I love any story with a Witch - and the more wicked the better!!

Simply Magic!

ADVENTURE HIGHLIGHTS; 'Hobgoblin', 'The Little Princess', 'Punch And Judy', 'Gobbolino In The Tower' and 'Gobbolino The Woodcutter'.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 4 January 2011
Charming and delightful story of a little blue-eyed cat's adventures as he attempts to find an ordinary loving home instead of serving his entire life as a 'Witch's Cat'.

One of the best and most enchanting stories/chapters in my opinion is 'The little Princess' which is delightful in its story-telling.

In another; two Knights compete for the hand of a lady who spends her days alone shut up in a Tower in the middle of a lonely Forest with only an old maid and 'Gobbolino' for company! I could read this story over and over again...

Enchanting illustrations done in the old style accompany these enthralling adventures in the 'Kingfisher Classics' Edition. Each chapter encompasses a different temporary home little Gobbolino manages to find; featuring Witches, Princesses, Punch and Judy, and other animals - there's even a 'Hobgoblin'!

'Gobbolino The Woodcutter' is also another of my favourites, as I love any story with a Witch - and the more wicked the better!!

Simply Magic!

ADVENTURE HIGHLIGHTS; 'Hobgoblin', 'The Little Princess', 'Punch And Judy', 'Gobbolino In The Tower' and 'Gobbolino The Woodcutter'.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse