Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Giant John

Giant John

Arnold Lobel
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Henry Holt, 2008   ISBN: 978-0805082951

John was a gentle giant who loved to spend his time in the forest. There were some fairies that also lived in the forest and they liked to play magic dancing music for John. When John heard the music he had to dance whether he wanted to or not. Luckily John did not mind dancing and he and the fairies were great friends.

One day John came home from the forest to discover that the larder was bare except for two potato chips. Reassuring his mother that he would be able to help, John got himself ready and then he left home to find a job.

John "walked far out into the world"  until he came to a castle. A king, a queen, a princess, and a dog lived in the castle and when John explained that he was looking for employment, the king hired him.

It is amazing how handy it is to have a giant around, and all went well until the day when the music making fairies turned up.

First published in 1964, this wonderful picture book is now back to delight yet another generation of children. Though the story is a simple one, it is so full of sincerity and charm that one cannot help enjoying every word and every illustration. Celebrating the power of friendship and forgiveness, this is a tale that warms the heart.