The Heart of a Giant
Hollie Hughes and Anna Wilson
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Meet young Tom. His mother ‘has gone away’ we read. Not so the hills up which Tom likes to climb every day and beneath which so it’s said, sleeps a giant.
When out walking one day Tom lies down to rest and pressing his ear to the ground, he listens for a heartbeat. Suddenly he feels the earth start to tremble and shake, which sends him rolling downwards. The giant has woken, but having found his feet again, does Tom run away as his instincts first tell him? No, for he realises that the great being is a child too. The giant introduces himself as Abram, Abe as Tom is to call him and thus a new friendship is forged. Abe goes on to tell Tom that more than a century ago his Mammy Giant left him and now he’s grown tired of waiting. Perhaps she’s in need of help, they decide, and so begins their long, arduous trek in search of her.
Eventually they lose hope, Abe especially, and his outpouring of pain, frustration and fury causes the ground to open. Can Tom, an ordinary human child save the situation and perhaps even bring some cheer to Abe? He’s certainly going to have to draw on his new-found inner strength and resourcefulness.
With themes of friendship, love, loss and bravery, this beautifully written and illustrated book is one that lingers in the mind, especially the thought that as Tom’s mother said to him before she died, “each of them would always be within the other’s heart.’
Hollie’s lyrical, rhyming, self-affirming text has its perfect complement in Anna Wilson’s illustrations with that gorgeous colour palette and which capture so well the emotional roller coaster of a journey both friends undertake.