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Where the Giant Sleeps

Overview

Do ogres snore? Do pirates have blankies? Do fairies suck their thumbs? We may never know the answers to these questions. But if we're lucky--and very observant--we might be able to catch a glimpse of some fantastic creatures, all fast asleep.

     In soothing rhyme, bestselling author Mem Fox explores the sleeping habits of our favorite inhabitants from the world of fairy tales. Vladimir Radunsky fills a dreamy, picturesque landscape with surprising and fun details. Fairies, ...

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Overview

Do ogres snore? Do pirates have blankies? Do fairies suck their thumbs? We may never know the answers to these questions. But if we're lucky--and very observant--we might be able to catch a glimpse of some fantastic creatures, all fast asleep.

     In soothing rhyme, bestselling author Mem Fox explores the sleeping habits of our favorite inhabitants from the world of fairy tales. Vladimir Radunsky fills a dreamy, picturesque landscape with surprising and fun details. Fairies, wizards, goblins, and even children all find peace under the same bright moon.

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Editorial Reviews

Julie Just
…Radunsky's gouache illustrations seem to glow with starlight.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Complex visual clues may send readers for repeat rounds of Fox's (Time for Bed) lilting bedtime rhyme, and even then children will not exhaust the mystery with which Radunsky (The Mighty Asparagus) cloaks his subjects. "This is where the giant sleeps," says Fox, not specifying a location, leaving it to Radunsky to create an elaborate, fairytale world of slumbering creatures as dreamed by a sleeping boy. Initially, gouaches portray the giant with his body made up by various items in landscapes: trees serve as the curls in his hair, a hill forms his nose, a red house suggests his mouth, a lighthouse balances on his cliff-like foot, etc. Atop all this, Radunsky overlays map coordinates in a witty foreshadowing of explorations still to come. In subsequent pages a parcel of land that makes up the giant's body appears in a circle, as if seen through the round spyglass the boy carries. The image on the opposing page is magnified even further, to show both the boy and what he sees-a dragon reclining within the lighthouse ("breathing fire, and snoring"), a sleeping ogre on a boat (he "takes a rest from roaring"), a goblin "safe and warm" in a haystack. The paintings and multifaceted structure of the book inventively translate the puckish text, conjuring misty visions of magical realms. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2 A sleepy-time success from a powerhouse pair. Shown fast asleep on the title-page spread, a freckle-faced child in a wooden boat uses a spyglass to spot dreamy denizens of a land of Nod, depicted as an archipelago of enormous body parts that appear to rest where a giant has fallen. Fairies, a wizard, and a pair of wee witches are some of the snoozers netted in this hypnotic nighttime rhyme; only the elves are awake, sewing a celestial quilt to cuddle the little navigator as he settles into sleep. Radunsky's allusive gouache-on-handmade-paper pictures are apt accompaniment to Fox's rhythmic, soporific verse: left-hand pages depict the view through a more-or-less-objective lens, while right-hand pages expand to extraordinary full-bleed exposés of the sleepy-eyed view of things, complete with sandman's mist. A concluding spread reveals that each of the elements of the child's slip into slumber is present in his room: his toy dragon, lighthouse night-light, and even the wallpaper cows have come along for the ride. Children will sail along with them-and have sweet dreams.-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT

Kirkus Reviews
Radunsky makes a strong bid for another New York Times Best Illustrated honor, setting Fox's brief, murmurous bedtime rhyme to dreamy close-ups of an archipelago revealed in the first spread to be a sleeping giant. Seen through the telescope of a child who snuggles into bed at the end, a fairy dozes in the grove of trees that is the giant's hair, a goblin hugs its teddy bear in a haystack, witches sleep in a house on one thigh-shaped peninsula and a dragon snores atop a lighthouse on the other, as an ogre "takes a rest from roaring" on a passing ship. Only the elves are awake, "sewing with all their might, / to make a quilt of moons and stars / to wrap you in . . . tonight." Casting dim moonlight over drowsy forms made with cloudy edges and soft colors, the artist expertly captures the poem's tone and makes the slide down into dreamland well-nigh inevitable. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152057855
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia.

Vladimir Radunsky has illustrated many books for children, including Bill Martin's The Maestro Plays. He lives in Italy with his wife and two daughters.

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