The best books about giants

2 authors have picked their favorite books about giants and why they recommend each book.

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The Selfish Giant

By Oscar Wilde, Jeanne Bowman (illustrator),

Book cover of The Selfish Giant

Wilde suggested this story be read aloud. My father, ever the storyteller, obliged. He adored Wilde’s other writings as well. I remember borrowing other Oscar Wilde’s books, as a young adult, from my father’s library. However, my dad had modified the ending of The Selfish Giant by eliminating the nail and blood part. I only found out about the actual ending years later, but somehow he had managed to keep the essence of the story regardless of his change to the ending. The Selfish Giant, is a vast story with all the beautiful seasons and all the tender love a human needs. I will cherish this story in my heart, forever.

The Selfish Giant

By Oscar Wilde, Jeanne Bowman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Selfish Giant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

Growing up in Iran, I never thought I would one day become an author in a language other than my mother tongue, and live clear across the world from my birthplace. An eclectic assortment of literature, representing core human themes of thinking, love, laughter, and science are subjects that help me bond with my fellow humans. Books have constantly reassured me of our similarities and encouraged me to make connections. The magical threads of our shared humanity are tools which help us thrive in our global village. They remind us we are more similar to one another than we may think.


I wrote...

My Grandma and Me

By Mina Javaherbin, Lindsey Yankey (illustrator),

Book cover of My Grandma and Me

What is my book about?

While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin’s words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey’s illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.

This beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories.

Giants Beware!

By Jorge Aguirre, Rafael Rosado (illustrator),

Book cover of Giants Beware!

Jorge and Rafael have created a lovable trio of heroes with Claudette, Marie, and (personal favorite) Gaston. These three friends go on an adventure to fight a dangerous giant while their entire town tries to stop them. The kids encounter all manner of magical foes who are more than meets the eye, adding up to an adventure that’s as surprising as it is hilarious. 

Giants Beware!

By Jorge Aguirre, Rafael Rosado (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Giants Beware! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Claudette's fondest wish is to slay a giant. But her village is so safe and quiet! What's a future giant slayer to do?

With her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess), and her brother Gaston (a pastry-chef-to-be), Claudette embarks on a super-secret quest to find a giant-without parental permission. Can they find and defeat the giant before their parents find them and drag them back home?

Giants Beware! offers up a wondrous, self-contained world in the tradition of the very best of Pixar. Claudette and her friends will have you laughing out loud from page one.

Who am I?

I’m a stay-at-home working dad, and have handed my boys countless books to keep them entertained so I could get some work done. There’s something magical about giving your kid a book that sparks their love of reading. In my own experience, adventure books that made my boys laugh out loud would captivate my kids for hours…and keep them out of my hair.


I wrote...

Star Scouts

By Mike Lawrence,

Book cover of Star Scouts

What is my book about?

Avani is the new kid in town, and she’s not happy about it. Everyone in school thinks she’s weird, especially the girls in her Flower Scouts troop. Is it so weird to think scouting should be about fun and adventure, not about makeovers and boys, boys, boys?

But everything changes when Avani is “accidentally” abducted by a spunky alien named Mabel. Mabel is a scout too—a Star Scout. Collecting alien specimens (like Avani) goes with the territory, along with teleportation and jetpack racing. Avani might be weird, but in the Star Scouts she fits right in. If she can just survive Camp Andromeda, and keep her dad from discovering that she’s left planet Earth, she’s in for the adventure of a lifetime.

D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

By Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire,

Book cover of D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

The D'Aulaire's book is a visual feast of stories from the land of ice, fire and Viking culture. The tales are well-told and exciting. It comes with lively illustrations which offer children who haven't encountered Thor, Odin, Freya or Loki before, a panorama of this marvelous world and the many adventures of the Norse Gods.

D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

By Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

George Hagen is a Brooklyn writer who has written two adventure books for children about talking ravens. Hagen lived on three different continents by the time he was eleven, and developed a tremendous passion for folktales of all cultures from Africa, Egypt, Greece, Europe, and Celtic and Norse myth. His children's books were inspired by the myth of the Viking God Odin whose two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, flew around the land of ice and fire, reporting all the news. Hagen has appeared before hundreds of students, unraveling the secret mystery of riddles (modern and ancient) at schools from New York to Los Angeles.


I wrote...

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

By George Hagen,

Book cover of Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

What is my book about?

A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of fearsome, immortal valravens: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel answers a raven's riddle, he begins a journey to rescue his father who is being held captive by the evil demon Corax—half man, half raven—in a foreboding underworld of birds called Aviopolis. With the help of his best friends Abby, Somes & Pamela, Gabriel solves riddles, crosses chasms, and duels the demon ruler of the valravens.

The BFG

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Book cover of The BFG

Giants, giants that eat people, a giant that gives you dreams and lots of silly words and disgusting bodily functions. Fantastic. This was one of the first books I read and it was a real laugh-out-loud one. I hadn’t known up to that point that books could be like that. Roald Dahl had a unique way of writing and speaking to kids. Laughter is so important!

The BFG

By Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The BFG as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda!

One of TIME MAGAZINE's 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It's lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG-she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all.…

Who am I?

As a child I was a reluctant reader. For Christmas, I was given A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, which didn’t interest me at all (sorry!). So off we popped to WH Smiths to choose one book. I chose Roald Dahl’s The BFG. I was hooked. Roald Dahl’s way of writing enthralled me, and made me laugh. I felt like Dahl was a friend of my age, not an adult, and a very funny one at that! I’ve always been drawn to that kind of zany humour, such as TV shows like Dangermouse to The Simpsons then British comedies such as Blackadder. Laughter is good for the soul and I’m passionately laughing about it.


I wrote...

The Mysterious Corridor

By Elias Zapple,

Book cover of The Mysterious Corridor

What is my book about?

12-year-old skateboarder Michel is in a panic as his little cousin has gone missing. Then Michel goes missing too as he searches for his cousin in strange new worlds where he encounters a sarcastic talking dog who becomes his companion. Together they battle an evil school headmaster as they try desperately to free his cousin and return home. 

Sleeping Giants

By Sylvain Neuvel,

Book cover of Sleeping Giants

Like an earlier entry on this list, this story utilizes a unique format. In Sleeping Giants the reader is exposed to a first contact-like plot. Rose is a scientist and the woman spearheading a project to make sense of the discovery of giant robot parts hidden beneath the Earth’s surface. She, along with one of the project pilots, Kara, provide both depth and distance to events thanks to the help of a mysterious interviewer who does well to keep the reader engaged. We discover things as the characters do, and their revelations linger just enough for the reader to crave a sequel. I appreciate the complexity of the sci-fi in the story—there are aliens, robots, and perhaps a few international conspiracy theories.

Sleeping Giants

By Sylvain Neuvel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sleeping Giants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

When I was little I used to seek out stories that featured strong female characters—especially in genre fiction. This proved to be quite difficult, even as I enlisted my entire family to help in the search. Because of this, ensuring that each of my own works feature this is a must. I am an author, artist, and podcast host who focuses on understanding the importance of story elements. I am an active martial artist, have a degree in creative writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and often get mesmerized by the process of creating comics and music. I hope you enjoy these recommendations as much as I did.


I wrote...

Violent Skies

By T.J. Lockwood,

Book cover of Violent Skies

What is my book about?

Violent Skies is one story in a series of books meant to be read in any order. Each tale features a woman on a journey to survive in a world struggling to keep balance with both its population on the ground and in the sky. 

In a world overstretched in population and resources, the skies were meant to be the greatest beacon for innovation and freedom. The flying cities were constructed in a time of need, driven by hope and fuelled by ambition. The end results, however, cast an unintentional shadow upon those still making a home below. This is the story of a wanderer named Wallflower, a package named Jace and their journey to confront the echoes of mankind’s past.

Abiyoyo

By Pete Seeger, Michael Hays (illustrator),

Book cover of Abiyoyo

This book has been a class favorite for many years. I always use this book when opening our folktale unit of study. The children are enamored by the storyline and by the musical component embedded in the text. They love to sing the song that accompanies the story. 

Abiyoyo

By Pete Seeger, Michael Hays (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Abiyoyo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I am the author of two folktales in addition to several other fiction stories for children and an early childhood educator. I taught kindergarten and first grade for over twenty years. As part of our state standards, we must do a yearly unit of study on folktales. Folktales deliver universal messages to children in a non-didactic way. We can use them to address issues that young children face while also using them as resources to teach students about faraway places, customs and cultures. Folktales are in integral part of an early childhood education and it’s a unit of study that I always looked forward to. Immersing myself in them was the catalyst for recreating my own. 


I wrote...

Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves

By Annemarie Riley Guertin, Helena Pérez García (illustrator),

Book cover of Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves

What is my book about?

"Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves is a timeless story about kindness and why the fir, spruce, and juniper trees don't lose their leaves in winter, with its beautiful art and unforgettable characters (Cardinal, Jack Frost, and the Frost Queen), this tale will warm readers' hearts." - Starred Review

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