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Good Night Giants


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About the Author

Heinz Janisch writes children's books and books for adults. Janisch has received several literary awards, including the 1998 Austrian prize for promoting children's literature. Visit him at He lives in Austria.

Helga Bansch attended the Pedagogical Academy in Graz, where she trained as a primary school teacher. She worked with children with behavioral issues and discovered painting as a means of expression. Since then, Bansch has focused on painting pictures with acrylic on paper or canvas; illustrating children's books; and making dolls, puppets, and objects of sandstone, clay, and papier-mache. She lives in Austria. Visit her at


PreS-K-In a story from Austria, a young narrator relaxes for bed by finding and counting giants. Starting with two walking on stilts, he counts up to six then back to two. The text seems to have lost something in translation. While some lines have a set rhythm and rhyme ("I look near, I look far./I look up, I look down./I find all my giants, those thirty-four clowns!"), others do not scan well: "When I go off to bed,/I don't look for sheep, but instead/I look for giants all over town." Each group of giants is given a collage spread. Although there are some funny details in the backgrounds, the creatures themselves are grotesque and sometimes inappropriately pictured. One of the four giants in the bathtub balances a martini glass on his bare bottom. With the wealth of bedtime books available, this is one to skip.-Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"Avoiding the pedantic tone that can appear in books that explicitly address childhood anxieties, Janisch and Bansch tackle sleeplessness with bustling text and hoppy illustrations reminiscent of quirky European theater performance. At bedtime, when it's time to settle down and relax, a pajama-clad child doesn't count sheep, but giants instead--34 of them."--Publishers Weekly

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