The Giant Book of Giants by Saviour Pirotta and Mark Robertson
|The Giant Book of Giants by Saviour Pirotta and Mark Robertson|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Classic, giant tales plus an enormous, interactive poster mean this is gigantic fun!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 24||Date: October 2011|
|Publisher: Egmont Books|
|External links: Author's website|
There's a rather large giant's eye starting back at me from the cover of this book...I'm not scared though, because the book promises that the giant contained within is a gentle giant who will guard my room! And he really is contained within since this is a book set which includes a book of giant stories from around the world as well as a huge giant poster (over one metre high!) which is in 3D and contains moving parts!
Let's start with the story book first - my only problem is with its size. Because the poster is so large the size of the whole set is very big in order to fit it in. The extra large format makes it a fun gift, but for practical purposes it's tiring to hold up the whole book and the poster pocket for reading, and it's awkward to turn the pages. I can see that it would be heavy for children to hold and handle, although perhaps they could manage by laying it on the floor to read rather than holding it up. It's a shame you can't detach the story book to read it as by itself it would be much easier to manage.
There are six stories in the collection, beginning with the favourite Jack and the Beanstalk but then moving on to less well-known giant stories such as Coyote Tricks the Giant and Momotaro, the Peach Boy. The giants are mostly scary, although one story, The Curious Giantess is more sympathetic and tells things from her point of view. They're quite short so you can easily read one aloud with younger children in five minutes, or they'd be good for more confident readers to have a go by themselves with some quite challenging vocabulary.
The illustrations have a classic feel to them, and there's something to look at on every page. The giants all look very different and are imaginatively portrayed. I found the one-eyed giants in Sinbad's Third Voyage to be the scariest, but my four year old was most nervous as we read Jack and the Beanstalk because, I think, of that age-old Fee-fi-fo-fum! I liked the variety in the stories, the fact that they're from around the world and obviously draw on some classical tales.
So now we come to the poster. Contained in a folder opposite the story book the poster is made from stiff card and cleverly folded to disguise just how large it is. It works as a pop-out poster, making it 3D and has two metal ring bound holes at the top to help you hang it more easily on a bedroom wall. The giant is supposedly the last one left on earth, and he has lots of keepsakes from his giant ancestors, some of which relate to the stories in the book. There are interesting bits of information about the giant, and you can pull out and look at some of the things he has in his pockets. There's also the opportunity to pull out the giant's earwax (worth its weight in gold apparently!) which my little one particularly enjoyed!
We've yet to hang him up since I think he is just a little too large at the moment and my daughter, almost five, is still small enough to wake up in the night and panic when she sees him staring at her across the room! This book set would make a marvellous present for a slightly older child however, perhaps around seven and older.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Little ones who need a friendly giant to avoid bedtime nightmares should look no further that The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson which is one of my favourite stories to read aloud at playgroup. Older readers might enjoy trying A Giant Problem (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles) by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Giant Book of Giants by Saviour Pirotta and Mark Robertson at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Giant Book of Giants by Saviour Pirotta and Mark Robertson at Amazon.com.
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