Gentle Giant

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9780007110643: Gentle Giant

On an island way out in the middle of a lake there once lived a sad young man. He was sad because he had grown up into a giant of a man, very big, very strong and very frightening. Because of this, no one liked to go near him. So his only friends were the wild creatures that lived all around him.

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About the Author:

Michael Morpurgo divides his time between writing and running the charity Farms for City Children with his wife, for which they were both awarded an MBE. He lives in Devon. Michael Foreman has illustrated more than 170 children's books. He lives in London and Cornwall.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 4-In true fairy-tale fashion replete with drama, romance, and redemption, a master storyteller conveys a timely (and timeless), compelling message about the frightening fragility of our environment, the awesome and restorative powers of nature, and the often-unconsidered consequences of an all-too-pervasive, superficial, "gotta-have-it-now" mentality. Lonely, unloved, and misunderstood, the gentle Beastman of Ballyloch lives alone on an island in his beloved silver lake, in harmony with the birds and animals, but reviled by the human inhabitants of the town, where he toils each day thatching houses, barns, and hayricks. As is so often the case in tales of this type, what lies beneath the sad young man's off-putting exterior is a person who is fine and untouched by anger or resentment. A brave and selfless act of kindness is the catalyst for a friendship, and this, coupled with his imposed intimacy with simple, natural elements, supplies the quiet Beastman with the information and intuition necessary to remedy an ecological upset that threatens the survival of all of Ballyloch. Foreman's pebbled watercolor-and-pencil pictures are jewel toned and as gentle and touching as the story itself, and their composition hints at the possibilities of reaching beyond boundaries-physical or figurative. This is an unassuming story with a powerful punch and a resonant reminder: "There's truth in every fairy tale."-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
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Michael Morpurgo
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