The Goblin & the Empty Chair
by Mem Fox; illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon
Beach Lane Books, 2009. Unpaged. Picture book.
Seeing his reflection, a goblin is so horrified by his visage that he determines never to expose his hideous countenance, thus shrouding his face. As he lives a lonely, solitary life to avoid frightening anyone, he happens to see a family in need and silently does what he can to ease their pain.
Through an all-star team of renowned author and illustrators comes this lovely, understated picture book. The Dillons are some of my favorite artists, their style being beautifully composed and crafted in every way. The little details tell the story very aptly--I didn't catch the full meaning of the family until I read the book a second time, carefully following the pictures. Mem Fox, of course, also does a nice job with telling this story simply and tenderly. A wonderful, original fairy tale.