When Giants Come to Play

Overview

A whimsical story of imagination and friendship, illustrated by one of the most respected illustrators of our time.

In this beautifully written, lyrical text, a little girl named Anna enjoys a day with some unusual playmates, a pair of giants who visit only "when the sun shines just so and the wind blows like this and that on its way to somewhere else." The giants adapt familiar childhood games to suit their size, giving acclaimed illustrator ...
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Overview

A whimsical story of imagination and friendship, illustrated by one of the most respected illustrators of our time.

In this beautifully written, lyrical text, a little girl named Anna enjoys a day with some unusual playmates, a pair of giants who visit only "when the sun shines just so and the wind blows like this and that on its way to somewhere else." The giants adapt familiar childhood games to suit their size, giving acclaimed illustrator Kevin Hawkes opportunities to play with scale, and the premise is the perfect platform for his quintessential, "larger-than-life" characters.

From Clifford, the Big Red Dog to Danny and the Dinosaur, the idea of a giant friend who helps you do things you couldn't do yourself is a classic, much-loved children's book theme. Humorous and a little wistful, When Giants Come to Play is a celebration of the power of imagination and friendship that could become a classic.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Here, as in his artwork for Lynne Bertrand's Granite Baby, Hawkes proves that when it comes to giant tales, he's a supersize talent. Young Anna imagines that two humongous playmates appear whenever-according to the occasionally purple text-"the sun shines just so and the wind blows like this and like that on its way to somewhere else." One stout, round-faced giant sports a bowler hat that's a little too small for his massive head, while his skinny, frizzy-haired comrade in overalls brings to mind John Turturro with a little Stan Laurel mixed in. Hawkes underscores their hugeness by rarely showing them full-body (as if they're too big for the pages' bounds), and summons up plenty of satisfying broad comedy (these very-big-fishes-out-of-water play marbles with soccer balls). But there's more going on in these paintings that lifts this book above the many tributes to a child's power of imagination. A genuine poignancy resonates throughout Hawkes's artwork, which nicely balances elegant, painterly elements with the slapstick action. His giants are not just big fun, they are big-hearted-and they wear their adoration for Anna on their extra-extra-extra-large-size sleeves. Even when engaged in the silliest task (such as picking peaches by uprooting the entire tree), they fulfill the yearning within every child-even one as self-assured as Anna-to be under the watchful eye of someone benevolent and big. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A delightful romp, full of imagination, told in lyrical prose. Some summer mornings, "when the sun shines just so and the wind blows like this and like that on its way to somewhere else," giants appear. Anna waits for them just beyond the end of the lane, and they play hide-and-seek, marbles, catch, jump rope, and myriad other seasonal games. At midday they share mint tea and cakes dripping with chocolate frosting. At night, Anna drifts off to sleep, a smile on her face, hoping the giants have come to stay. Large, full-page illustrations in charcoal pencils and acrylics depict the oversize, affable playmates and diminutive girl engaged in whimsical play.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A day of play, with two reeeeeeeeeally big friends. Beaty's economical and straightforward text describes Anna's day of fun with her two giant pals-one grinning widely in an orange bowler and matching vest and the other wearing overalls with a sharp beak of a nose and a shock of coarse black hair shooting straight up. She leaves the humor to Hawkes's bold illustrations in charcoal pencil and acrylic paint. For example, "They play catch by a gnarled oak tree" is the text accompanying a picture of the giants tossing Anna back and forth. And at the end of the day, there's a close-up of Anna resting in a hammock. The next page widens the view showing, instead of trees, the sleeping giants holding up the hammock with their buttons. Size (most of the oversized illustrations are two-pagers) should enhance the comic appeal for very young audiences. A slight story, but Beaty's language and Hawkes's pictures make it enormously appealing. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810957596
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 605,113
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 12.37 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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