cover image Gemma and the Giant Girl

Gemma and the Giant Girl

Sara O’Leary, illus. by Marie Lafrance. Tundra, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6367-3

Gemma is a white, red-haired doll who lives “a very nice little life” with her Momma and Poppa in a tastefully furnished dollhouse. Working in shades of forest green and copper, Lafrance (The Lady with the Books) conveys with uncanny skill the way the dolls’ limbs move stiffly and fall limply. The dollhouse’s owner is long gone, but Gemma’s parents tell stories of giants, and one day, a giant girl peers into the house, and quite literally shakes up the family’s life. In a droll sequence, Lafrance draws the new items the giant girl places in the home (“Some of the new things were nice. Some were less nice”), and the surprising new clothes the family is given. One day, a giant book appears,“ so big that it took both her parents to turn the pages,” and its pictures reveal trees, stars, and the moon—all dizzying revelations to dollhouse-dweller Gemma. Not long afterward she gets a glimpse of these wonders herself. In this cozy, domestic setting, O’Leary (Maud and Grand-Maud) explores what happens as the mind takes in new information that expands one’s world. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)