4th January 2010, Walker Books, 144 pages, Paperback, Review Copy
Summary from Walker Books
The third hilarious and heartwarming book about George's adventures with the Goffins sees George, Lofty and Eave desperate for a pet as they go batty for bats ... and dogs ... and goldfish...
With George beginning to feel at home living at Grandma’s house, his thoughts turn to having a pet. Lofty and Eave – the Goffins who live secretly in Grandma’s attic – discover a lost puppy living in the garden and, with George, set upon hilarious ways to make it their pet. But how can George convince his parents he’s able to look after a puppy? With the help of the Goffins and an injured bat called Gable, George discovers what goes into looking after a pet, and how a puppy can bring everyone together.
I like the simplicity of the front cover - silhouettes on a purple background, with gold stars. (Yes, purple is a very good colour for a cover - I don't select books on their cover alone though). Again, I'm dipping into a series without reading the previous books. It didn't matter though, the quick recap of events meant I understood what was going on.
All I could think of as I read this was 'It's the Borrowers (by Mary Norton)- on a larger scale!' The Goffins don't like human contact. They do have to scrounge for food (although George gives them some) - using a fishing rod to get a sausage is a good idea...not that George's dad would agree with them. They are human sized, there are only two of them (although in this book George learns there are more in nearby houses) And the characters are totally different: there's only two of them, father and daughter. They speak an interesting version of English - don't worry, there's a vocabulary chart at the back. Most of the words are recognisable, there were only a few I didn't recognise immediately.
This story isn't just about the Goffins: it's about how to take care of pets (carefully). I love bats, so was delighted to see bats getting a bit of attention. It's also about the past: exploring the world of rationing in World War 2. A fun way of getting children interested in history (ok, I always look for themes in books. I can't help it!). Eave and her father Lofty are memorable characters with kind hearts. I look forward to reading more of George's adventures with them.