How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant? by Caitlin Friedman and illustrated by Shaw Nielsen; ($18.95, Workman Publishing, ages 3 and up) is reviewed today by Rita Zobayan.
What do giants like to eat? Englishmen? Perhaps, if you’re a giant on a beanstalk. Sheep? Maybe, if you’re a one-eyed giant. However, if you’re the giant in Caitlin Friedman’s How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant?, you’re not interested in eating people (or sheep) at all. Instead, you rely on the kindness of a boy and his dog to feed you.
This book is sheer fun and poses an amusing conundrum. What to do when a friendly giant shows up in your backyard and asks to be fed? We follow along as Oscar and his dog Cowgirl do their best to sate a gigantic appetite. Will the 200 cookies that Oscar’s mom baked for the school’s bake sale suffice? (Okay, Oscar snuck a few for himself.) What will happen if Oscar’s mom finds out that the fridge and pantry have been raided? If you’re like my family, your children and you will have a great time finding out!
Shaw Nielsen’s artwork is spot on: bright and whimsical. Many of the pages, including the cover, have a pop-up,, cut out or similar feature that captures the attention of younger readers. Pull the arrow to help the giant finish drinking 15 big bottles of chocolate milk and open the pizza box to help him finish all the slices.
As an extra treat, a pull-out booklet, A Hungry Giant Cookbook: Recipes for a Hungry Giant (or 8 Little Kids), has eight easy-to-prepare recipes. Your family of little giants can feast upon the biggest burger in the world, pizza-size chocolate chip cookie and pasta mountain. (The recipes are cleverly featured in one of the scenes.)
Your children will want you to read this book so often that, as Oscar says throughout the book, “Seriously, you’re not going to believe it!”