Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Here, as in his artwork for Lynne Bertrand's Granite Baby, Hawkes proves that when it comes to giant tales, he's a supersize talent. Young Anna imagines that two humongous playmates appear whenever according to the occasionally purple text 'the sun shines just so and the wind blows like this and like that on its way to somewhere else.' One stout, round-faced giant sports a bowler hat that's a little too small for his massive head, while his skinny, frizzy-haired comrade in overalls brings to mind John Turturro with a little Stan Laurel mixed in. Hawkes underscores their hugeness by rarely showing them full-body (as if they're too big for the pages' bounds), and summons up plenty of satisfying broad comedy (these very-big-fishes-out-of-water play marbles with soccer balls). But there's more going on in these paintings that lifts this book above the many tributes to a child's power of imagination. A genuine poignancy resonates throughout Hawkes's artwork, which nicely balances elegant, painterly elements with the slapstick action. His giants are not just big fun, they are big-hearted and they wear their adoration for Anna on their extra-extra-extra-large size sleeves. Even when engaged in the silliest task (such as picking peaches by uprooting the entire tree), they fulfill the yearning within every child even one as self-assured as Anna to be under the watchful eye of someone benevolent and big. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A debut author joins a renowned illustrator to tell this whimsical story of imagination and friendship, in which a little girl enjoys a day with some unusual playmates--a pair of giants. Full color.