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Cover image for Giants! : stories from around the world
Giants! : stories from around the world
1st ed.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, ©1995.
Physical Description:
73 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Jack and the beanstalk (England) -- Kana, the stretching wonder (Hawaii) -- The giant who had no heart (Norway) -- The Cyclops (Ancient Greece) -- The cannibal's wonderful bird (South Africa) -- Coyote and the giant sisters (Pacific Northwest) -- David and Goliath (Ancient Israel).
A retelling of seven tales about giants, from Jack and the Beanstalk to David and Goliath.
Added Author:


Call Number
J 398.45 Walker 1995

On Order



From gallant David who slays Goliath, to kindhearted Boots who saves his brothers from an evil giant's curse, the heroes in these seven stories use cunning and bravery to outwit malevolent giants. Each of the stories is followed by information detailing the origins of the tale. Illustrations are done in both color and black-and-white.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 6‘Seven stories from around the world. "David and Goliath," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "The Cyclops" from Homer's Odyssey are here, but with significant changes from the familiar versions. For example, in "David and Goliath," the narrative is more developed than the biblical narrative, with more motivation. Even Jack's story, based on its first published version, makes more senseæthe giant stole the riches from Jack's father in the first place. Of greater significance is the remainder of the tales, from South Africa, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, and Norway. These giants are unknown to many readers and therefore their behavior is less predictable, their functions more varied. Usually, it is the human reaction to the giant in any Western fairy tale that is the real focus. Not necessarily so here, where there may be no people at all, or where the giant may simply be a mutant human. At the end of each selection Walker notes its genesis and reasons for any changes he made. The range of behaviors, the lively narration, as well as the unobtrusive scholarly references make this a satisfying collection. The painterly illustrations, one full-color vignette per story, with a few line drawings interspersed, are as realistic as they can be, given their subjects. The creatures' gaping, gross features are bold and terrifying, and the perspectives are dizzying.æRuth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

An extensive bibliography and detailed source notes lend authenticity to Walker's retellings of seven stories about giants, including Goliath, the Cyclops, and Jack's familiar nemesis. Benardin's large, full-color illustrations complement the spirited tales. Bib. From HORN BOOK 1995, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A collection of seven tales, from the familiar (``Jack and the Beanstalk'' from England and ``The Cyclops'' from Greece) to the obscure (``Kana the Stretching Wonder'' from Hawaii and ``The Cannibal's Wonderful Bird'' from South Africa). Each story starts with a full-page robustly realistic painting and ends with careful notes from Walker (Big Men, Big Country, also illustrated by Bernardin, 1993, etc.) about history and variants. A detailed bibliography of sources is included at the back. These well-told stories will please just about everyone: The large format works for story hours, the selection hits some multicultural notes, the interesting variations and source notes aid researchers. (Folklore. 8-12)

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-6, younger for reading aloud. In this companion to Big Men, Big Country: A Collection of American Tall Tales (1993), Walker presents seven classic giant stories. His choices, both familiar ("Jack and the Beanstalk," "The Cyclops," and "David and Goliath" ) and lesser-known ("Kana the Stretching Wonder," "Coyote and the Giant Sisters," "The Cannibal's Wonderful Bird," and "The Giant Who Had No Heart" ) hail from Europe, Africa, North America, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Walker has researched the better-known variants of each tale; his own retellings represent composites of several versions. Each story is appended with source notes that will be of interest to children as well as adults, and a bibliography of original editions. James Bernardin's gouache paintings and pencil drawings make for elegant bookmaking, although the stories will be just as successful presented orally. A solid choice for family reading or as a resource for storytellers. --Kay Weisman