The Boy and the Giant
The Boy and the Giant

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Annotation: Informed by his granddad that local stories about a giant are true, little Billy learns that a friendly giant uses his height to help the town but must hide because everyone is afraid of his differences.
Catalog Number: #169484
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-419-73318-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2783-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-419-73318-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2783-9
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The creator of The Bear and the Piano? (2016) here offers another small life lesson in picture-book form. A giant with "legs as long as drainpipes, . . . hands the size of tabletops, and feet as big as row boats" protects the cheerful Gableview villagers. He also stays out of sight, so as not to frighten anyone. When the town needs someone to paint the high sections of a welcome mural, the giant tries to oblige, until young Billy screams in fear, prompting both to flee. Once Billy realizes his mistake, he and his grandfather take steps to properly appreciate their gentle protector. Litchfield's digitally enhanced mixed-media illustrations brim with details that assure young readers this gargantuan being means only well. Employing vivid hues and making effective use of light and shadows, he portrays this friendly creature as a bearded man sporting patchwork overalls. In most spreads, he appears camouflaged, hidden in plain sight. This gentle message of friendship and inclusion should find a large, appreciative audience.
Kirkus Reviews
Billy saves the day when he finds the only person tall enough to finish the new town mural. The friendly citizens of Gableview are working on a mural that decorates the wall surrounding their town; it will welcome visitors from far and near. But no one can reach the top to finish the mural. Grandad has a great idea: ask the Secret Giant to help, regaling a skeptical Billy with tales of the Giant's fantastic feats, like the time he lay across a gap in the bridge so that cars could cross or the time he rescued a fishing boat caught in a storm. The next day, Billy and his dog go for their morning walk and run smack into the Giant himself, with "legs as long as drainpipes and hands the size of tabletops." And what is the Giant doing? Painting the wall, of course. Billy runs away in fright but regrets it, realizing the "Giant stays hidden away because people are afraid of him. He just doesn't feel welcome." After a little thinking, Billy and Grandad concoct an idea for a way to show the Giant he really is welcome. Litchfield uses the metaphor of a friendly giant to lead readers to understand they don't need to be "scared of things that are different," but in depicting the Giant as endlessly self-sacrificing and ever helpful to an ungrateful population, he sends a murky message indeed. Billy, Grandad, and the Giant all present white.Skip this well-intended book. (Picture book. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly
A boy learns the importance of accepting those who are different from him in this message-driven story by Litchfield (The Bear and the Piano). When a town-s residents struggle to complete the highest section of a mural welcoming visitors, a boy-s grandfather suggests that the shy local giant will come to the rescue, just as he has in the past, having previously saved the family from bears, storms, and other mishaps. -Those aren-t real-they-re just legends,- the boy scoffs. Predictably, on the very next morning, the boy interrupts the giant, who is working to complete the mural. Terrified, the boy races home. He instantly regrets his unfriendly behavior, and, determined to make things right, he and Grandad come up with a plan to reassure the giant that he-s a welcome member of the community. Though the dialogue feels overly purposeful, the text-s message of inclusion is valuable. What stand out most are the richly textured illustrations, which give readers an excuse to linger on each spread and try to spot the semi-hidden giant. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Guided Reading Level: L
Fountas & Pinnell: L

There is a Secret Giant in Gableview who has hands the size of tabletops, legs as long as drainpipes, and feet as big as rowing boats. But little Billy thinks the Giant is just a tall tale that his grandad likes to tell. According to Grandad, the Giant keeps the bears away when they go camping and rescues Billy's favorite kite when it gets tangled up in the tallest tree. Grandad swears the Giant is real, but Billy's not buying it. Why has he never seen the giant before? Why does the Giant stay hidden? Grandad knows why: People are afraid of things that look different. When Billy suddenly finds himself face-to-face with the Giant, he runs away in fear--and hurts the Giant's feelings. But now he's got an opportunity to make it up to him, and, just maybe, to be friends with the nicest guy in town.

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