The Gruffalo; Room on the Broom), this humorous story makes a first"/>

THE SPIFFIEST GIANT IN TOWN

Julia Donaldson, Author, Axel Scheffler, Illustrator , illus. by Axel Scheffler. Dial $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2848-6

Like Donaldson and Scheffler's previous collaborations (The Gruffalo; Room on the Broom), this humorous story makes a first-rate read-aloud. Scheffler's vibrant, almost radiant illustrations conjure up giants, people and animals who inhabit a sort of fairy-tale British village—a place where it seems normal for a giant named George to wear monastic-style sandals on his hairy legs and a patched, yellowing gown. And when George emerges from a new tailor's shop in sartorial splendor, with his hair slicked back and his pants creased, he gradually gives away each article of his new clothing to a series of creatures in need—and reverts to his scruffy style. Donaldson's rhyme is both catchy and cumulative: "My tie is a scarf for a cold giraffe,/ My shirt's on a boat as a sail for a goat,/ But look me up and down—/ I'm the spiffiest giant in town!" A mouse's-eye view of the giant foreshadows the article of clothing that will serve as the mice's new home, and children will especially enjoy the picture of George forlornly sitting on the curb in undershirt and red-and-white polka-dotted boxers. The book's joie de vivre and the characters' droll camaraderie will almost certainly prove infectious. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/06/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
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