Monday, February 11, 2013

Giants Beware

Aguirre, Jorge. 2012. GIANTS BEWARE. Ill. by Rafael Rosado. New York, NY: First Second. ISBN 9781596435827. [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

Claudette may be a girl, but here main desire in life is to be a giant fighter like her father. She tricks here best friend Marie—whose main desire in life is to be a princess--and her little brother Gaston—whose main desire in life is to be a pastry chef—into going on a quest and helping her in finding a giant to slay. Of course, the townspeople, worried about the safety of the children, chase after them. The resulting rollicking adventure is fun read as the children outwit various monsters, face dangers with intelligence, and show the adults of the town who the real heroes are. And they even find a giant.

The illustrations in this graphic novel lend so much to the story. The facial expressions of the characters are especially well done. The book is fun; the two strong female adventurers and the boy who wants to be a pastry chef can serve to empower those kids who want non-traditional jobs or roles or even traditional roles. After all, don’t most girls at one time aspire to be a princess? The story and illustrations work well together in this better-than-average graphic novel.

Share this graphic novel as an introduction to studying careers. Have students brainstorm what they would like to be when they “grow up.” Have each student design a PowerPoint slide as to what they would like to do and illustrate it.

Have students research all types of giant—giant animals, plants, bodies of water, land masses, imaginary monsters—whatever you or they can discover. Compare these giants with “normal” sized (i.e. a whale vs. different types of fish; Sequoias with elms or oak trees, and son on).

Other middle grade graphic novels:
Hatke, Ben. ZITA THE SPACEGIRL. ISBN 9781596434462
Pearson, Luke. HILDA AND THE MIDNIGHT GIANT. ISBN 9781907704253

By Janet Hilbun

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