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THE BAREFOOT BOOK OF GIANTS, GHOSTS AND GOBLINS:
Traditional Tales from Around the World

Author: John Matthews; illustrator, Giovanni Manna

The heroes and heroines of myth and folklore always have to overcome extraordinary challenges - and more often than not, these challenges involve a giant, a ghost, or a goblin. In this action-packed anthology, young readers will meet a very unusual Chinese ghost, a Norwegian giant who keeps his heart in a secret hiding place, and many other colorful and engaging characters. Matthews’ lively text is magnificently illustrated throughout by Manna.

Read Alone: 8-10
Read Together: 5-10

From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-A lively collection of nine folktales in which the protagonists face larger-than-life challengers. They include "The Giant with No Heart in His Body" (Norway), "The Bunyip" (Australia), and a demon called Korendo in "Little Oonyani" (Siberia). Some selections, such as "Oona and the Giant" (Ireland) are delightfully funny. Another strong heroine can be found in "The Lass Who Couldn't Be Frightened" (Scotland). In some of the tales, the humans are not particularly admirable, such as the boastful "A-Man-Among-Men" (West Africa) and, in some cases, their opponents are likable, such as the wistful "Ghost with Two Faces" (Cheyenne). Matthews's writing is clear and fluid, making these stories especially suited for reading aloud. Manna's stylized watercolor illustrations capture the different moods of the tales. The vibrant colors, varied format, and attractive design make this a visually appealing addition.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
This mild collection is even-tempered in the tellings despite the various spooks of the title. From the plucky princess who aids her prince in the Norwegian ``Giant with No Heart in His Body,'' to the strong-minded Scottish ``Lass Who Couldn't be Frightened'' (who bests a goblin but is undone by a mouseand love), the nine tales cover many cultures and sensibilities. The Cheyenne ``Ghost with Two Faces'' is heartsick and lovelorn, and the Chinese ``Drinking Companions'' honor the dead and the living. Matthews pays particular attention to oral rhythms, so the stories move well, but without the bite some ghoulish readers have come to expect. The illustrations include elegant decorations and borders in a mannered, attenuated style. (sources) (Folklore. 6-10)
Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP

$19.95 (hardcover)

 

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