"THE DWARF, THE GIANT, AND THE UNICORN: A Tale of King Arthur" by James Cross Giblin

"THE DWARF, THE GIANT, AND THE UNICORN: A Tale of King Arthur"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An authentic Arthurian romance inspired this foray into fiction for Giblin (When Plague Strikes, 1995, etc.). Early in his reign, young King Arthur and his knights are shipwrecked on an uncharted island where the king meets and converses with a dwarf who lives in a giant tower. The dwarf nervously tells Arthur his story: His wife died during childbirth, but his son survived, and was suckled on the milk of a unicorn. As a result, the boy grew to giant size and has killed everyone who has landed on the island out of misunderstanding--thus, the dwarfs apprehension. The giant is at first suspicious of Arthur but allows himself to be reassured, agreeing to help the shipwrecked survivors. The book's main theme--destroying out of fear--is nearly manifested when Arthur introduces the giant to his shipmates, but cooler heads prevail, and everyone works together to relaunch the boat. Ewart's vivid watercolors bring a sense of wonder to the tale, especially as the giant pushes the ship like a toy. Giblin's ending is happy, if a bit easy--the dwarf, the giant, and the unicorn become the newest citizens of Camelot--but no message of acceptance or tolerance is ever wasted. An author's note provides commentary on the story's centuries-old origins.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1996
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Clarion