The Stone Giant
When her father leaves to save people from a giant who turns them to stone with his gaze, a child in a red dress is left alone. Many days and many nights go by. Every evening the girl says good night to herself in her mirror. When the last light burns down, the girl takes her mirror and a knife and sets out to find her father. "I will save my father from the giant," she says.
The Stone Giant is a contemporary and timeless fairytale that tells of a child who succeeds where adults cannot. Based on a classic Swedish fairytale by Elsa Beskow, often called the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia, whose books have been read by Swedish children for more than 100 years.
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A timely fairy-tale adventure about one child's quest to defeat a giant.
On a tiny island, a child and her knight father live in isolation. Then the knight leaves to fight a dangerous giant terrorizing the land by turning people into stone. Days pass, but the knight never returns. Finally, the girl embarks on her own journey to save her father with nothing more than a red dress, knife, mirror, and umbrella. Höglund, a contemporary Swedish children's-book creator, points to a story by legendary author/illustrator Elsa Beskow as this book's inspiration. Translated from Swedish, the third-person text, always printed on verso and surrounded by generous white space, is brief yet specific, prompting ponderous pauses throughout. True to fairy-tale tradition, everyday objects possess the key to salvation. However, in a contemporary twist, it is not an adult or knight in shining armor but the child who does the rescuing, not through beauty or kindness but with fortitude and determination. With the exception of a few double-page spreads, illustrations appear opposite text on recto. Employing precise copper-plate etching overlaid with nearly monochromatic watercolor washes, they create a desolate, shadowy world. This constant feeling of danger underscores the girl's worry and subsequent bravery in the face of the unknown. The cloth binding and stamped lettering make this small, rectangular volume feel special.
Read aloud or explored independently, this original fairy tale will whet the appetite for more Swedish imports. (Picture book. 4-9) -- Kirkus Reviews