Thursday, 12 June 2014

Giant by Colin McNaughton (Walker Books)


Written and Illustrated by
Colin McNaughton

Published by Walker Books

Colin McNaughton is well known in children's literature circles for his cheeky and irreverent (and downright rib-tickingly funny) books. We have loved every single thing of Colin's, and "Giant" is no exception - though this time Colin has his semi-serious hat on to impart a rather touching eco-tale.

The giants of legend, those much maligned beasts, once roamed the world freely. Each country and continent had their own giants from the frost-covered mountain giants, to the squelchy bog giants. Our tale tells the story of a young native boy who, while out hunting, senses that something is lurking in the rainforest. Something is watching him.

A giant, a huge leafy woodland giant, has taken up residence in the rainforest, spurned by man and almost hunted to extinction by a supposedly brave knight who vowed to rid his home country of the giant menace (for not all giants were kindly souls, some were trolls and troublemakers).

The giant in Colin's story made good his escape, swam the seas and ended up hiding out in the rainforest. But is it the safe haven that the giant thought it would be?

The boy and the giant become friends, and as the boy learns more of the giant's sorrowful story, it changes him for the better. But will it change you?

An eco-tale with an achingly beautiful heart, and though it might not be what you'd normally expect from cheeky Colin, it's a truly lovely book. I can't believe we missed it first time around - thank goodness for libraries!

Charlotte's best bit: Colin's fabulously detailed map of the world with all the types of giants who live in it

Daddy's Favourite bit: An enviable art style, a way of imparting stories with such care and attention to detail. Colin McNaughton really is a hugely talented man indeed, a giant amongst children's author-illustrators!