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The Rainbow Goblins
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The Rainbow Goblins

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  758 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Since its first publication more than 15 years ago, the fantastic colors, amazing detail, and sweeping scope of The Rainbow Goblins have irresistibly invited tens of thousands of children to plunge their imaginations into its vivid world. This charming allegorical tale is once again available in a new edition. 18 color illustrations.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 17th 1978 by Thames & Hudson (first published January 1st 1978)
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I wonder if this book would have made more of an impact on me if I was younger, because as a pseudo-adult I found it not all that charming, and certainly not all that allegorical (as per the description), unless symbolically it was supposed to be an explanation for why you shouldn't do copious amounts of hallucinogenic drugs and then write a book for children. In fact, if anything, I thought it was pretty darn grim for its target audience--the goblins are not just washed away in a sea of colors, ...more
Frankie Brown
Beautiful! Hideous! I love it!
Lori (Hellian)
Wow this book is listed! I don't know how we got a copy, who gave it to my husband, but I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I discovered it's magic when Jake was very young, and for some reason I've been thinking of it lately, haven't seen it for 10 years ago. I hope I still have it and didn't give it away in some mad frenzy of clean up! THis is a book to sit quietly and slowly contemplate unique and richly saturated art work. There's a story there too, rather grim like Grimm, and it all i ...more

Beautiful artwork accompanies this story of seven golbins in search of a delicious rainbow only to be outwitted by the flowers. Through this experience, the rainbow learns to never touch the earth again.


First and foremost, the artwork in this book is stunning. It is a reproduction of Ul De Rico's original art which was oil paints on oak panels. The colorful and powerful art is so carfully rendered that the wood grain can be seen on the pages.

The lyrical narrative matches the panor
The most beautiful book that I have ever read, The Rainbow Goblins was essential bedtime reading for young Lolo from the tender age of 3 until such time as I managed to begin sneaking flashlights under the covers and reading until dawn. I still have my copy of this, as frayed and battered as it is, and still turn to it quite regularly.
Loved the book. Most stories these days leave out good versus bad. I love how this book defines both clearly, fun to read with your kids.
Totally 70s trippy book. Old school Disney should have made a movie out of this one.
May 28, 2007 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children and adults
As a child, as an adult I feel the magic from this book.
This astonishing book is filled with oil paintings on oak panels, which are reproduced about 2/3 of the original size. They are breathtaking.

I was pretty much obsessed with rainbows in the 70s, and I bought this incredibly beautiful book when it first came out - I read it a million times. The story tells of 7 evil goblins who capture rainbows and drink the colors. They learn of a valley where the rainbow is born, and they go there to gobble up the final, beautiful rainbow. They shelter in a cav
Ashley Taylor
The Rainbow Goblins is a tale of seven goblins, each named after a color of the rainbow, who lasso rainbows and each drink their prescribed color in order to survive. However, their evil plan to have the ultimate feast from the spot where the rainbow originates in the Valley of the Rainbow is thwarted by the flowers of the valley, and the goblins meet their demise. The flowers are then transformed into beautiful birds by the grateful rainbow, who grows more cautious after this close call and mak ...more
Meghan Pinson
*Spoiler alert

My five-year-old was really excited about this book when he got it for Christmas. We opened the front cover and he said, "I love this artist. Look at these illustrations!" We started the story & he was really into the goblins, the colors, the rainbow-sucking. But as the story developed, things went downhill. Turns out he was pulling for the goblins and he wasn't supposed to. It didn't concern him that they're joykillers and color thieves . . . he identified with the little tric
The artwork in this book is incredible! The story has the feel of folklore (which I love). It kept my kids' attention, which is a challenge these days. This is a book that I'd add to my collection.
I think I missed out by not reading this first as a child.

On the one hand, I enjoyed this story of why rainbows never touch the ground and why there are so many beautiful, colorful birds. On the other hand, the goblins were nasty for no real reason. They don't learn their lesson, either, they just get killed.

The illustrations, however are gorgeous. They're reproductions of oil paintings, and they are stunning, a realistic fantasy world, if that makes sense. I can see why so many remember this b
This book was written 8 years before I was born, and it was given to my mother by my father probably 2 years before I was born. I haven't looked at the message recently. I am actually on the verge of buying myself a copy of this book because I loved it so much as a child. The paintings are beautiful and at times a little trippy. It commonly feels like an Indian myth, I was interested in them at right about the same time in my life. The book is about Goblins who live from drinking the rainbow. Th ...more
The story itself is like a long-ago fairy tale. Seven goblins steal tasty, tasty rainbows from the sky to eat for dinner, and they've just set upon the valley that births rainbows, intent on eating the juiciest of all. But the roots of all the plants overhear them, and when the goblins try to steal the rainbow, the flowers all put a plan in motion to stop them...

The illustrations alone are worth owning the book for. They will floor you. They are beyond intricate, with depth and beauty. They look
Gorgeous paintings, clunky story.
Chloe H.
I never read this book as a child, but after seeing some of the illustrations on an art blog, I was intrigued. This is indeed a very strange book. The pictures are vibrant to the point of being psychedelic, and are done in the style of the Renaissance masters. Apparently they are based on original oil paintings, which is just remarkable for a kids' book.
The story is a very simple fable which doesn't do much to detract from the pictures. If you or a kid you know are looking for a cheap, drug-fre
Gorgeous book.
erin duncan
My favorite kid's book ever, though this is really a book for anyone who loves art and dreaming and color and mysterious things like personified flowers and tricky little goblins in the night. Ul De Rico's paintings are breathtaking; I finally hunted this book down a few years ago after having it stick in memory from reading it as a kid at a family friend's house - this is a book you must own, so you can look at the pictures over and over again and let them color your own dreams when you go to s ...more
One of the most beautiful and fascinating books I can remember owning as a child. My brother and I flipped through this book so many times that the spine glue wore out and we'd have to shuffle through the pages like an unbound manuscript, but that didn't prevent us from going back time and again to read the story and stare at the illustrations. This is one of the books I want to share with my own children someday.
May 26, 2011 Anna added it
This is a beautifully illustrated and slightly creepy children's book. I loved it when I was young and still love it now. It has that nice balance of fantasy and "horror" (but not really) that scares kids in a good way. And illustrations are amazing. I remember learning that the author/ illustrator was in some way involved in production of the film of The Never-ending Story, which is also creepy in a good way.
This book (along with the A-Ha music video "Take On Me", hehe) was an enormous influence on my childhood dreams to be an artist. Weekly trips to the library were always ritualistically started with me running to the shelf that held The Rainbow Goblins. When viewing this book, one actually starts imagining the taste that each color must be - it's an amazing book, for kids and adults alike!
Aug 23, 2007 Allysha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
my little sister's mom had this when I was a kid and I remember reading this and being blown away by the final pages of the book. I finally picked up my own copy at the SPL Friend's book sale a few years back and it was even better than I remembered. The illustrations are amazing and the story is a bit more complex than most picture books. keep your eyes peeled for goblin booty.
Samantha Penrose
Nov 25, 2008 Samantha Penrose rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Samantha by: my mommy
What amazing illustrations....
In this book you are introduced to a group of goblins who are after the mouth-watering colors of the rainbow! It is because of their schemeing that you will never find the begining or ending of a rainbow on the ground!
You will want to frame nearly every page of this book...the story is a little strange, but the illustrations are to die for!
My favorite book as a child and to this day, I read it and get chills down my spine. Turns out, Ul De Rico contributed to the look of the Neverending Story (1984 movie, not book) in major ways. This makes complete sense to why I'm so drawn to it while many friends of mine are scared to death; I grew up on his style. Highly recommended.
Missy Allison
Jul 12, 2007 Missy Allison rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone!!!
This is my alltime fave childrens book... it was out of print for a while (why, we'll never know). The artwork is unbelievable, even more when you read the back cover to discover that the paintings are actually VERY large. Can't say enough good about it, got kids, get it, got appreciation for all things beautiful and good, get it!
The text is lousy and the plot not much better, but the illustrations were really captivating as a young child, and my kids respond the same way. I think Count Ulderico has the same fascination with clouds that I do; wish I could indulge in the extended effort that this book at the least represents to try painting them.
This has the most beauitful art. My understanding is that he worked on Neverending Story and all the amazing skies and what not from the film. It is just SUCH a beautiful book and the story is interesting too. It is one from my childhood that remains a favorite today.
I grew up on this surreal work of art and fable. This book, and others like from that generation, entirely shaped how I perceive the world. To the day I break it out every few years and admire its pages. Hunt down the '78 publication, if able... It's worth the extra $$!
Apr 26, 2009 Miriam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Miriam by: Akeisha
Shelves: picture, fantasy
A girl in my class rbought this to show me because it was her favorite. I read it on the sly during chemistry class and thought it had the most beautiful illustrations. I was never able to find a copy of my own, and the author doesn't seem to have done much else, alas.
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aka Ulderico Gropplero di Troppenburg

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