The Lonely Giant

The Lonely Giant

By Author / Illustrator

Sophie Ambrose, Sophie Ambrose



Age range(s)



Walker Books Ltd




Paperback / softback



This is a simple story with a poignant message. It features a lonely giant who lives on a craggy mountain, surrounded by a huge forest. His days are spent doing the same activities, uprooting trees, throwing and smashing things. Over the years the forest diminishes and the animals are scared away. The giant realises that he misses the birdsong and the wood for his fire and he grows lonelier. One day a little bird appears and sings to the giant. Driven by his loneliness he cages the bird to ease his heartache. However, the confined bird becomes so forlorn that she is unable to sing. The giant is a gentle soul and he realises his error and releases the bird with an apology. With the bird now gone the giant is aware of the damage he has caused to the world around him and vows to make amends. He plants and mends and waits for things to grow. Slowly the forest begins to flourish and the animals return, as does the little bird. As birdsong fills the forest, the giant finds himself happy and not lonely anymore. A beautiful tale about the importance of looking after the natural world and making amends when we don't. A story about redemption. Sophie Ambrose's straightforward text and illustrations, created with a soft colour pallet, make this a delightful read. There is a lovely contrast between her large double page spreads, which offer a moment to reflect, and her smaller illustrations that divide the page and quicken the pace of the story. Ambrose's giant has a wonderfully kind face, reminiscent of characters drawn by Raymond Briggs. There are many questions to ask whilst reading, such as why the giant breaks, smashes and pulls up trees? Why the animals disappear as the forest shrinks? Why the little bird feels so sad when she is caged? Why the giant needs to wait for a long time for life to return to the forest? And whether readers have ever worked hard to mend something that they have broken? This is a story that reminds us of our responsibility to look after the environment we live in and how delicate the ecological balance is to maintain. However, we can learn from the experiences of the lonely giant, which brings a sense of hope. We too can have a positive impact on the world around us, even if we haven't in the past. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Emily Beale, teacher.

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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