Grandad's Secret Giant by David Litchfield - author of 'The Bear and The Piano' is a wonderful picture book about acceptance that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
This is the main theme of the story. Prejudice against things that we are afraid of and the acceptance of such things. In the story, we see how Billy reacts when he first sees the giant and how his Grandad's words makes him react differently to the other people in the town.
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Other stories about 'fear' and/or 'acceptance.' Click the book cover for details.
A wonderful book to share on World Book Day or at anytime to illustrate the magic of books and the places reading can take you.
Other books by Oliver Jeffers
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Tan tells us of his inspiration and the methods he used to create the images that we see in the finished book.
"Each night before the boy went to to bed, he would light the fire. He would squeeze beside Grandma on her favourite chair. The house would be quiet, except for the turning of a page and the ticking of a clock."
'The Building Boy' by Ross Montgomery is a truly heartwarming story about a young boy and his grandma who had been a famous architect. The boy and his grandma spend each night looking at photographs of her achievements and together they plan to build a marvellous house on a hill where they can live together.
The stunning illustrations by David Litchfield compliment the story beautifully.
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Further books on the theme of death and bereavement
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Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year. It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On HMD we can honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
We have collated some books that may help teachers share these poignant stories with their class.
The Harmonica by Tony Johnston - Illustrated by Ron Mazellan
The story is Henry's. Henry was a jew living in Poland during WWII. When the Nazi's invade the family finds itself split - Henry in one concentration camp and his parents in another.
Henry though has his prized possession with him, a harmonica which his father taught him to play. He plays this in the darkness, he 'played it to keep from losing hope.'
Henry plays Schubert as his heart is breaking, by some 'terrible miracle' he is heard playing by the camp commandment who each night after making him play tosses him some meagre food. This makes Henry feel guilty, guilty that he is playing beautiful music for such a monster but also because he is 'getting bread while others starved to death.' He feels sick to his stomach with guilt until one night the other prisoners thank him for bringing the beauty of the music into their sad existence.
Alternative Children's books with similar themes
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Benno and the Night of Broken Glass by Meg Wiviott.
Young Person's Novels
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This is not an exhaustive list. Please add your own recommendations in the comments below.
"Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure..."
The third book in this Caldecott Honour winning trilogy of wordless picture books is as exciting and beautiful as its predecessors.
In this book we return to the world of canals, castles, samurai warriors and brightly coloured birds. All of whom bring a mix of danger and beauty.
Our lonely, young adventurer has the help of her friends and also surprisingly someone from home.
After building up a small library of books we thought the time had come to share them!