cover image The Dwarf Giant

The Dwarf Giant

Anita Lobel. Holiday House, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0852-8

Lobel ( Alison's Zinnia ; Looking for Daniela ) demonstrates the breadth of her talent in this tale set in long-ago Japan, where a prince and a princess rule their tranquil country from an elegant palace. The prince, who longs for something exciting to happen, has his wish granted when a dwarf with magical powers appears. He turns the prince's wooden flute into a drum, and insists that all of the palace's residents dance to its thunder-like music until they collapse from exhaustion. It doesn't take the princess long to realize that the dwarf's magic is sinister, but the prince has fallen under the spell of the little man--whose goal is to take over the kingdom. The wise princess devises a scheme to get rid of this ominous creature, and the country is peaceful once again. Light and color in Lobel's enchanting paintings underscore the contrast between the serenity of the Japanese lifestyle and the chaos introduced by the dwarf. Concluding with a playful twist, this story has a timeless quality. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)