"Davy and the Goblin" appeared first in serialized form in the children's periodical "St Nicholas" beginning in 1884; it was published in book form first in 1885 and remained in print for over 40 years. In 1891 Carryl published another children's book, "The Admiral's Caravan".
The story begins on Christmas Eve when eight-year-old Davy drowses by the fireplace reading Lewis Carroll's classic novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Soon he meets a Goblin who transforms the family longcase clock into a boat, beginning Davy on a "believing voyage" where he meets the Butterscotchmen, Mother Hubbard, the Giant Badorful, Robin Hood (and his daughter Little Red Riding), Robinson Crusoe, and other charming characters.
"Davy and the Goblin"'s use of nonsense and punning places it firmly amongst those works influenced by Lewis Carroll's Wonderland; its fast-paced, kaleidoscopic narrative gives it an American flavour which foreshadows much fantastic literature of the twentieth century.