Friday, 22 March 2019

ReadItDaddy's Picture Book of the Week - Week Ending 22nd March 2019: "The Green Giant" by Katie Cottle (Pavilion Children's Books)

At the start of the year we wrote a post hoping that in 2019 we'd see a sharp increase in children's stories that dealt with environmental issues. We've seen plenty about the oceans, and the need to stem the use of single-use plastics but we've been hoping to see books that tackle things with a little more of a wider scope.

"The Green Giant" by Katie Cottle is absolutely perfect, combining all the elements that we'd normally love to bits in a standard 'story' picture book, but subtly weaving in a distinct moral message about how we take our world for granted, how we do the most terrible things to it, and what the impact of continuing to behave like that will ultimately lead to.

Will we have a world fit to leave to our children?

The Green Giant here isn't some sweetcorn-shilling lantern-jawed chap. He's discovered in a mysterious rusting old greenhouse at a young girl's grandad's house. 

Bea, and her dog, Iris, are staying with her grandad in the country and Bea quickly become bored when Grandad is always busy. 

Sometimes doing nothing can be so boooooooring!

Soon though Iris's adventures lead her to the greenhouse and she meets the giant for the first time. Bea is scared, but the giant reassures her and explains that he has escaped from the grey city. 

Yeah I'd be scared, well a little...
Bea and the giant become friends, but can they do anything to make the grey city, and the world, a greener place? 

So much for the city...the green giant is country-bound

We love the Giant's suggested solution of becoming guerilla seed bombers, planting beautiful plants and wild flowers in any scrap of dirt we can find in the city we live in (which is actually something we've done before, it's very simple to gather up wild poppy seeds in the summer, let them dry over winter, then make them into muddy seed bombs to plant the next spring). 

Sum this book up in a sentence: A glorious story, a beautifully written and illustrated eco-message, and a fantastic idea to give kids inspiration to make their own green spaces and make our world a better place. 

"The Green Giant" by Katie Cottle is out now, published by Pavilion Children's Books (kindly supplied for review).