THE GIANT by Mordicai Gerstein


Age Range: 9 - 11
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 A brief, enigmatic story that parks most of its meaning (if there is any) on the metaphorical level. Forbidden to do so, Reina, Clara, and Amelia often sneak out of town to seen the mountain- sized giant. They always find him standing stiffly in his garden or bending down to weed with boulder-sized fingertips, oblivious to them no matter how much they shout, or wave, or hop about. One day, though, they catch his eye and, before beating a hasty retreat, leave three flowers in his palm. The girls are strongly affected by the episode and that night, safe in bed, hear the giant weeping, too. Readers are likely to find the point elusive, though Gerstein's exuberant illustrations--the girls, with arms and legs perpetually in motion, dash and dance through lush gardens and along the very edge of a rocky outcrop--and intense, simply phrased writing make an appealing match. The giant is a melancholy figure with the face of a young man, dressed in a patchwork of rags and rendered in washed-out colors, so huge that his face and hands are landscaped with streams, shrubs, and wildlife. A puzzling, perhaps private story, it is reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's fairy tales. (Picture book. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-7868-0131-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1995


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