Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: David Goodner
Illustrator: Louis Thomas
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Little goblin Ginny is shown a box by her parents and told that she cannot open it until dinnertime. This doesn’t stop her from trying. The readers are shown various scenarios of Ginny trying to get the box while the narrator places it in difficult-to-reach locations. From balancing on a chair to reach the box on a shelf to launching herself in a catapult to reach the top of a tall tower, Ginny is frantic to get to the box. But after several attempts, she gives up, washes her hands, and sits at the table for dinner. Her parents have her open the box to reveal a cake for dessert—but they say as they take it away, she can’t have the cake until she finishes her peas.
The illustrations are fun opaque watercolors and pen, and the bright green goblins are whimsical and charming. The story is simple and humorous, and children will relate to the frustration of having to wait to receive a gift. However, the story is weakened slightly by Ginny’s parents taking the cake away from her after she finally gets to open the box. It seems a little odd that after all the insistence of refusing to let her open the box before dinnertime that they would show her the cake before she’s finished her meal. It might have been more effective and realistic for the parents to insist she finish her dinner before she opens the box rather than having to take the cake away.