The Giant Kingby Kathleen T. Pelley, Maurie Manning
Readers will be charmed by the message of this heartwarming Scottish fable: that what is loved will reveal its loveliness.
Library JournalK-Gr 3-This story set in Scotland plays out much like a folktale. Rabbie, a gifted woodcarver, travels to other villages to sell his work. In one town, an angry giant is wreaking havoc and frightening everyone. Rabbie proposes that the behemoth would behave better if he were treated not like an animal but "like a king." The monarch hears of this suggestion and commands the people to do so. The "brute" is fed and clothed and his behavior improves. The villagers march him to the king's castle, but the ruler now threatens to harm them for treating "this animal as if he were a king." When the giant intervenes to save the people, he passes the king's test, is invited to live in the castle, and eventually becomes the next ruler. Although people try to credit Rabbie with the transformation, he says, "I only discovered what was hiding there in his heart all along." The text reads well and is complemented by full-color, mostly full-spread illustrations. Black outlines accentuate the figures and suggest the appearance of carved wood. Buy where stories of tolerance are requested.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library JournalK-Gr 3—Rabbie, a young wood carver whose creations reflect what can be, visits a Scottish town near the king's castle. A mighty giant destroys the marketplace as the people angrily shake their fists and call him harsh names. Rabbie believes the giant behaves like an animal because he is treated like one. What if he were treated like a king? Liking Rabbie's idea, the old king orders his people to do just that. The children shower him with blossoms from the treetops, and their parents give him food and drink. With pipes and fiddles they play for him and dance. When the giant falls asleep, they cover him with their shawls and coats. The next day, Rabbie gives the giant a wooden carving of himself sitting on a throne, and out of bluebells the children make a crown. The giant leads a joyous procession to the castle. The old king orders the people punished for their treachery. The giant falls to his knees and offers his own life for his friends. Recognizing true nobility, the old king gives the giant a home, and eventually the people make him their king. Kathleen Pelley's lilting Scottish voice brings her story (Child and Family Press, 2003) to life, transporting listeners to a Scotland long ago and far away. Children will learn just how powerful kindness can be in their relations with one another.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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