A happy gnome saves the forest from a rampaging giant by holding out the hand of friendship.
It’s not the most convincing bit of peacemongering ever. Pico, a graying gnome, falls asleep on an evening stroll as a luminous fairy murmurs a warning verse over him: “Let my song make you strong, / For after night will come a fright.” Indeed, next morning an angry giant nearly stomps on him—but suddenly turns friendly after Pico announces that he’s looking for the “strongest, kindest person in the world.” The giant, Gongurra, apologizes and departs (“I’ll try not to stand on any gnomes on my way home”), and Pico dances off in relief, singing of “Loaves of bread, good to eat, / Draughts of ale for a treat….” Looking like watercolors applied to wet paper, the hazy illustrations feature a genial-looking gnome in a flaming red jacket, capering about and changing size from scene to scene so as to stay visible, paired to a wildly unkempt giant. Originally published in English in 1998, this is its first appearance on this side of the pond. Except for some birds, all the two-legged figures are light-skinned.
A lightweight addition to the horde of suggested bully-countering strategies. (Picture book. 6-8)