Last week, I recommended Super Manny Stands Up, as it had been a favorite when I stuffed our front-facing bookshelf with books about kindness and inclusivity. Today, I bring you another child and parent favorite from that huge collection of books: The Boy and the Giant, written and illustrated by David Litchfield.
To start on the surface, Litchfield has both written and illustrated an endearing story about a boy, his grandfather, and the village giant. His beautiful prose reads aloud easily and moves quickly, but not so quickly that you can’t take in the rich and detailed illustrations. You can even read this like a seek-and-find book, as Litchfield has hidden the giant in many of these gorgeous illustrations.
But, what you really want to know is what makes The Boy and the Giant so special, and why was it on our kindness and inclusivity bookshelf? My girls loved that Litchfield tells the story of a boy who doesn’t believe there is a gentle giant living close by, one who does extraordinary acts of kindness for the townspeople. And, they loved that the boy discovers the giant actually does exist! But, mostly, they are able to identify with what the giant wants most in the world: a friend. After all, almost every child can identify with this deep-seeded need, a need to connect, to fit in, and to feel loved.
And as for me? I love that this book helps children see past their preconceived notions and look for what they might have in common with someone who, on the surface, seems so different. I love that The Boy and the Giant helps readers connect to those they believe to be different and breaks down barriers based on these preconceived notions. Litchfield teaches children to slow down and pay attention in order to get to know someone. And, Litchfield models taking action when you have hurt someone else, going beyond simply saying “I’m sorry” or pretending nothing ever happened. There is just so much good in this one simple story!
Other books we love for combatting preconceived notions:
- The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee
- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson
- The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania Al Abdullah and Kelly DiPuccio, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
- Hattie and Hudson by Chris Van Dusen — you can read my full review here.
- The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker, illustrated by Mark Pett
What books do you love that teach and model how to look past your beliefs and your preconceived notions to get to know someone’s heart?
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