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The Giants and the Joneses: from Julia Donaldson, the bestselling author of The Gruffalo Paperback – 5 August 2004
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'The Giants and the Joneses had humour, suspense and an invented language that enthralled me' – Evening Standard
‘Every night at bedtime, millions of children – pyjamas on, teeth reluctantly brushed – curl up to read or listen to a Donaldson story’ – Guardian
‘Children will love this miniaturised adventure . . . it's set to be a giant hit’ –The Herald
from Julia Donaldson, the bestselling author of The Gruffalo
- Publisher : Farshore; UK ed. edition (5 August 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1405207604
- ISBN-13 : 978-1405207607
- Reading age : 8 - 11 years
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 512,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The story features an invented language for the giants, with a glossary at the back. (Although for us, reading on a Kindle, we didn't really see this until the end.) Most of the words are guessable in context anyway, and when there are whole songs or sayings in the giant language, the English translation is given in the main text. This language is fun, playful and inventive, and I'm sure most child readers will bring some of the giants' words into their play as my daughter did.
For all the excitement and adventure, there is a moral core to this story which encourages children to think before making pets or toys of wild creatures. Children will not experience this as moralising, but they will absorb the messages about how the children are treated by Jumbelia, who doesn't mean them any harm, but also doesn't quite see them as living creatures who can be hurt.
Overall, I'd recommend this for fans of Donaldson's picture books who are ready to move onto chapter books at bedtime. For the more delicate among them, though, her Princess Mirror-Belle adventures might be more suitable.
It's a great story, and good to read something unusual.