The Rainbow Goblins
by Ul de Rico/ published 1978 by Warner Books
As a child of the 70s, I'm wondering how I missed this one (and it's still in print for heavens sake!) When I was in Santa Fe last week, I met an illustrator who showed me her copy from childhood. All I can say is WOW. I'm not absolutely sure of this, but The Rainbow Goblins must have a cult following. The paintings are bizarre, but absolutely spectacular... the story truly ingenious.
Once there was a land that lived in fear of seven goblins. They were called the Rainbow Goblins and each had his own colour, which was also his name: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Yellow, being the craftiest, was their chief. The goblins lived on colour -- they prowled the valleys and climbed the highest mountains looking for rainbows, and when they found one, they caught it in their lassoes, sucked the colours out of it and filled their bellies with its bright liquid.
Yea, so these Rainbow Goblins like to eat the colors of the rainbow, see. So they travel to the Valley of the Rainbow to gorge themselves silly. They journey through a lush landscape and dream of devouring rainbows and hatch a sinister plan. However, leave it to the moon and all of his friends of the forest and valley to thwart their madness. I thought the boy might be spooked by the goblins a little bit (they are pretty freaky), but so far he loves to find their bright little faces sneaking around the pages.
The author (full name -- Count Ulderico Gropplero di Troppenburg) illustrated a handful of books including this one and a sequel called The White Goblin published in '96. He was also one of the major design contributors to the '84 film The Neverending Story. From his jacket photo, he is kinda a hotty too, but that's really neither here nor there.