cover image The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant

Ted Hughes, illus. by Laura Carlin. Knopf, $19.99 (104p) ISBN 978-0-375-87149-8

Hughes’s 1968 story of unexpected friendships and redemptions returns with new artwork from Carlin in a polished and well-designed edition that uses occasional gatefolds and die-cuts to amplify key moments. Carlin’s mixed-media artwork emphasizes the giant’s innate otherness, his shadow looming over the pages, ominous red eyes glowing, the use of collage hinting at the constructed nature of the automaton. After the arrival of a “space-bat-angel-dragon” (whose approach to Earth unfolds in concentric die-cut circles), the giant wins over those humans he’d previously terrified, and even his extraterrestrial opponent turns out to be more than meets the eye. It’s an elegant and thoughtful treatment of a story that, with its hopeful message of global unity, feels as important and timely as ever. (Sept.)