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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Andrea Beaty is a talented newcomer to the field of children's books, with two more in the works. She lives in Naperville, Illinois.
Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of many wonderful books for children, including Weslandia by Paul Fleischman, I Was a Rat! by Philip Pullman, Imagine That!: Poems of Never-Was by Jack Prelutsky, My Friend the Piano by Catherine Cowan, and the novels of Eva Ibbotson.
A perfect summer day in Anna's comfortable world transpires when two playmates, who just happen to be giants, join her to play. They engage in common enough activities--hide-and-seek, gathering flowers, playing catch. However, with two hulking giants, everything is a little bit different: in their game of catch, Anna is the ball, and when the trio picks peaches, the giants pull out the tree, roots and all. As big as they are, Ann's playmates are never threatening or overpowering, and Anna always seems in charge. Hawkes uses a softer palette than usual for this book, and his gentlemen giants seem pale in comparison to the giant sisters he created for Lynne Bertrand's Granite Baby (2005). However, their softness and their slight resemblance to Laurel and Hardy, along with their willingness to involve themselves in Anna's activities, will encourage children to hope as Anna does at the end of the story that the giants will eventually "come to stay." Randall Enos
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