Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Grandad's Secret Giant by David Litchfield

Because what Billy had realised was that the giant wasn't
 just a giant. He was also a person.

From the opening page of Grandad's Secret Giant it is clear this is a united community.  People of all ages have gathered to paint a huge mural on the wall surrounding their town but there is a problem.  No one can reach to top of the wall.  Grandad says not to worry he knows someone with "hands the size of tables and feet as big as rowing boats."  Billy thinks these tales of the secret giant are just that, fanciful tales but Grandad carefully recalls all the times when the giant has helped the town and indeed Billy and his grandad out of sticky situations.  The problem is :

"... people are scared of things that are different.  When people see the giant, they scream and run away."

Billy gets up early to visit the mural.  He does see the giant but he is so frightened he runs away. When he realises this was the wrong way to react he turns back but the giant is gone.  How can Billy right this wrong?

I had an ambitious plan to read all the books on the Kate Greenaway 2018 Nominations list but there are 116 of them so I will just dip into a few such as Grandad's Secret Giant.  I was excited to see Australian books on this prestigious list  - Home in the Rain by Bob Graham and Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan.

You can see some of the illustrations on David's web site.  Here is an interview where David talks about his work and future projects.  You can read about the creative process here.  You can see more illustrations and read a detailed and very warm review here.  I would follow this book with The Gentle Giant by Michael Morpurgo, Giants by Mij Kelly and for older students The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.  One more thing - make sure you take time to look at the end papers which are very special.

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