THE DWARF GIANT by Anita Lobel


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 & up
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 Set in Japan, a deeply felt variant on a classic theme that more often ends in tragedy. Prince Mainichi and his beautiful princess, Ichinichi, are perfectly happy until the prince is mesmerized by a dwarf they have welcomed into their palace. The flute the dwarf plays becomes a drum, turning their dance into rampant destruction that extends from palace to garden while the princess begs her husband to ``Stop these evil games!'' The dwarf's enticements become more nightmarish; growing to giant size, he resembles a leering cabaret clown from 1930's Berlin. Ichinichi is chased away, but just as Mainichi is about to be overwhelmed by the now-terrifying dwarf's malice she returns, in disguise, to save him. Peace again reigns but--in an enigmatic conclusion--other visitors await outside the palace. Rich in color and complex designs reflecting the story's cycle from happiness to disorder and back to serenity, these illustrations mark a new departure for this fine illustrator, their allusive power reinforcing the Faustian subtext--which will be of most interest to adults. Meanwhile, for children, a beautifully illustrated tale about a man bewitched, brought back to himself by his wife's courage and ingenuity. (Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: April 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-8234-0852-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991


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