The Giant

October 4, 2009

A year and a half ago,  I had the privilege of meeting Claire Ewart.  Claire is an Indiana author and illustrator, residing in Fort Wayne.  She spoke at our school for our Young Author’s Conference.

One of my favorite texts is The Giant.   The text is rather moving, bringing the emotion of the daughter alive to the reader.  A girl, who has lost her mama, searches for the giant who was to watch over her.  She looks and notices the giant in the clouds, stars, and every time she thinks she can reach the giant, he always is beyond her.  Paralleling this search, Pa is working the farm.  Pa was steady by his daughter’s side, yet she could not see beyond her loss and the daily chores… until one morning.

“And there was Pa…like he’d always been, standing there, tall and strong in the wind.”

Claire shared that one idea for the book came one day as she was driving along US Hwy. 30.  Looking out across the spring fields, she noticed large puddles.  Claire said the puddles seemed like giant footprints walking across the land.   Claire uses figurative language so beautifully.  I savor the words like chocolate.

Small lakes formed

where ponds and low spots had been,

like Pa’s big boot prints,

like huge feet had walked across the land.”

Savorings for reading and in writing for The Giant:

  • Figurative Language – interwoven throughout the text
  • Transition in Time – from early spring to harvest time in the fall
  • Illustrations – painted in the clouds, shadows is a foreshadowing of the giant
  • Inference – the reader longs to find the giant with the girl
  • Symbolism – What does the giant stand for?  In the end, who is the mysterious giant?
  • Varying Sentences