Kate's Giants

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There is a door in Kate's room, as small and curious as Kate herself. Every night she imagines scary things creeping through it. "If you can think them up, then you can think them out", say her parents. But Kate can do better than that. In Valiska Gregory and Virginia Austin's wise and wonderful story, phantom fears can be turned into make-believe friends.

Kate is frightened that things like giants might sneak through the attic door into her new room, until she ...

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Overview

There is a door in Kate's room, as small and curious as Kate herself. Every night she imagines scary things creeping through it. "If you can think them up, then you can think them out", say her parents. But Kate can do better than that. In Valiska Gregory and Virginia Austin's wise and wonderful story, phantom fears can be turned into make-believe friends.

Kate is frightened that things like giants might sneak through the attic door into her new room, until she learns that what she can think up she can think out too.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Offering a zippy twist to a familiar theme, Gregory (Through the Mickle Woods) introduces a girl frightened by the creatures she imagines at night-ghosts, beasts and giants that ``scritch'' and ``slither'' through a small attic door in her new bedroom. ``If you can think them up, then you can think them out'' is the aphoristic refrain sounded by both her parents. And the star of the story does just that-and then goes a step further by deciding to ``think in'' friendly creatures. Austin's (Go to Bed!) full-spread illustrations, rendered in pencil and watercolors, show the girl appropriately frightened and small in her corner of the bedroom, while allowing lots of space for the imaginary creatures to fill. Her marauding lions and bears, etc., seem poised to pounce but are not ferocious enough to terrify the reader. In terms of composition, draftsmanship and palette, many of the fantasy sequences seem modeled on Maurice Sendak, but Austin adds a few idiosyncratic touches, such as a painting of an owl that mimes Kate's reactions. Inspiring self-reliance, this inventive story is just the ticket for children afflicted by a bogeyman. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Michelle H. Martin
Offering a female version of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Mercer Mayer's There's Nightmare in My Closet and There's Something in My Attic, Gregory relates the story of Kate, who overcomes her paralyzing fear of the monsters that she imagines live just behind the attic door in her new bedroom. When Kate screams for help twice, her parents assure her: "If you can think them up, you can think them out." She finally faces the beasts, transforming the lions, bears and ghosts into gentle creatures. Cuddling up with them, she then decides that "If I can think them out, then sometimes, I can think them in!" While Gregory's text will ring a bell with most readers well versed in children's picture books, children will likely enjoy Austin's colorful illustrations, and the comfortable-looking monsters that Kate has made her own. This text affirms that girls are just as capable of overcoming their fear of the dark as boys are. And some female readers may identify more with Kate than with Sendak's Max or Mayer's female character, since rather than focusing on conquest, this story emphasizes creative alternatives to lassoing fears and dragging them, kicking and screaming, out of the closet.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-``In Kate's new room there was a door, small and curious as Kate herself.'' So begins the child's struggle to overcome her fears of the night creatures she imagines lurking in the attic. First her father, then her mother responds to Kate's calls, each time transforming the colors of the room from a menacing purply-black to a soothing peach. Both parents advise her, ``If you can think them up, then you can think them out.'' As her room darkens a third time and giants crawl out of the door, plucky Kate commands them to ``STOP!'' and they retreat. The triumphant child then reconjures all the monsters, but this time as friendly companions. Complementary illustrations of pencil and watercolor, with expressive details such as the moonlight shining through Kate's window or the owl in the picture frame whose expressions change to mirror the girl's feelings, provide an alternately spooky and peaceful backdrop to the pleasing text. Kate's powers of imagination resemble Max's, and several frames bear a striking resemblance to certain illustrations in Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (1963) and We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy (1993, both HarperCollins). An enchanting read-aloud or lap book depicting a situation familiar to most young children.-Tana Elias, Meadowridge Branch Library, Madison, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763601515
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.09 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 0.18 (d)

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