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Where the Giant Sleeps


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Complex visual clues may send readers for repeat rounds of Fox's (Time for Bed) lilting bedtime rhyme, and even then children will not exhaust the mystery with which Radunsky (The Mighty Asparagus) cloaks his subjects. "This is where the giant sleeps," says Fox, not specifying a location, leaving it to Radunsky to create an elaborate, fairytale world of slumbering creatures as dreamed by a sleeping boy. Initially, gouaches portray the giant with his body made up by various items in landscapes: trees serve as the curls in his hair, a hill forms his nose, a red house suggests his mouth, a lighthouse balances on his cliff-like foot, etc. Atop all this, Radunsky overlays map coordinates in a witty foreshadowing of explorations still to come. In subsequent pages a parcel of land that makes up the giant's body appears in a circle, as if seen through the round spyglass the boy carries. The image on the opposing page is magnified even further, to show both the boy and what he sees-a dragon reclining within the lighthouse ("breathing fire, and snoring"), a sleeping ogre on a boat (he "takes a rest from roaring"), a goblin "safe and warm" in a haystack. The paintings and multifaceted structure of the book inventively translate the puckish text, conjuring misty visions of magical realms. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2-A sleepy-time success from a powerhouse pair. Shown fast asleep on the title-page spread, a freckle-faced child in a wooden boat uses a spyglass to spot dreamy denizens of a land of Nod, depicted as an archipelago of enormous body parts that appear to rest where a giant has fallen. Fairies, a wizard, and a pair of wee witches are some of the snoozers netted in this hypnotic nighttime rhyme; only the elves are awake, sewing a celestial quilt to cuddle the little navigator as he settles into sleep. Radunsky's allusive gouache-on-handmade-paper pictures are apt accompaniment to Fox's rhythmic, soporific verse: left-hand pages depict the view through a more-or-less-objective lens, while right-hand pages expand to extraordinary full-bleed exposes of the sleepy-eyed view of things, complete with sandman's mist. A concluding spread reveals that each of the elements of the child's slip into slumber is present in his room: his toy dragon, lighthouse night-light, and even the wallpaper cows have come along for the ride. Children will sail along with them-and have sweet dreams.-Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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