Here Be Giants

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Equipped with a guidebook, a trusty steed and an impressive moustache, our oblivious “hero” sets out into giant country completely unaware of the danger he is about to face. With his nose pressed firmly into the pages of his book, he completely misses the telltale signs that giants are nearby.

When he meets a fellow adventurer, he chooses to lecture her rather than follow her good advice. He scales a mountain (the giant’s legs), hears thunder (the giant’s rumbling belly), braves harsh winds (the giant’s sniffing nose) and weathers a rainstorm (the giant’s hungry, dribbling mouth), all while blissfully unaware of the imminent peril!

Children will love the pantomime-like quality of this book – shouting in exasperation as the knight blunders his way through the story. The text and illustrations tell different stories and provide great opportunities for inference as readers are invited to make the connections that the knight fails to notice. The illustrations are lively and filled with references to fairy tales, encouraging book talk, comparison and recall. The inversion of the “hero” and “damsel” roles also provides a subtle challenge to the more traditional representations of gender in the genre.

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