OSCAR WILDE'S THE SELFISH GIANT by Fiona Waters

OSCAR WILDE'S THE SELFISH GIANT

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Age Range: 6 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

PLB 0-375-90319-4 Waters’s retelling of this tale feels overly precious and disjointed, with the figure of the Christ child made curiously heavy by its artless inclusion. As those familiar with the story know, the giant is a big lout who returns to his paradisiacal garden after an extended absence to find it overrun with children having the time of their lives. He can’t stand their noise, so he boots them out and builds a wall. Spring comes to the garden late that year, and only arrives in the company of the children, plus one special child. That child brings with him the warmth of the sun and the joys of the season, and for that the giant is grateful; he is woebegone when that child, of all the children, does not return to the grounds—at least not until it is time for the giant to ascend into the child’s garden, Paradise. Negrin’s stylized paintings, with elaborate fabrics, elongated forms, and sculptured landscapes, are studied but arresting. They are unhampered by the stiff storytelling, which never makes clear the giant’s change of heart: from walling the children out to missing their laughter. (Picture book. 6-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-375-80319-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2000