The book includes ten stories from across the globe—old and famous fairy tales from Russia, Germany, America, Ireland and more.
And while you may not be familiar with some of the tales (many were new to me), you will no doubt spot the warnings and lessons about courage and obedience that seem to repeat in these kinds of stories, no matter their origin.
I also really liked the fact author/illustrator Craig Phillips didn’t choose some of the more common and well-known tales, because what this book offers is a window into other cultures and the stories of their past. This is something I really cherished as I explored the pages.
On glossy paper, the illustrations are everything you want them to be. Bright and bold when the characters are safe and happy, dark and shadowy when peril abounds (which it always does). And just like legends don’t tend to shy away from the gory details, neither does Phillips. The witches are gruesome, the ogres are murderous and the baddies do bad things to good people.
With this in mind, Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts is a book for older kids, but I have to say Phillips does a fantastic job of finding a good balance between remaining true to the stories and making the book kid-friendly. There are monsters and beasts and death, but nothing is too grisly or horrid.
Written as a graphic novel, there are many more pictures than text, so this would be a good one for reluctant readers to dig into for themselves.
Title: Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts
Author/Illustrator: Craig Phillips
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 26 April 2017
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction, Graphic Novel