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From School Library Journal

“The rude giants that have just moved into the castle on the hill are “clumsy, loud, and selfish.” They make life miserable for the villagers and no one knows what to do about it. One day they snatch Gerda the cow, but before they can gobble her up, Beatrix, the butter maid, persuades them that the cow will not taste good until they clean their filthy castle, learn pleasant manners, and make themselves beautiful.

Of course, two giants who are no longer rude can’t possibly eat the cow, who is Beatrix’s livelihood. But what to do about their hunger? The villagers all bring something from home, a la Stone Soup, and there is enough for all. Wood’s naive crayon drawings reflect the naivete of the story. Weird proportions and impossible angles imitate improbable plot action. The comedy of the couple’s reformation will inspire laughter on one level, and questions to muse over on another. For example, if the giants are too nice to go on stealing food, must the villagers go on feeding them forever? A final twist shows the polished pair as the parents of a rude child. Youngsters will chuckle.”

–Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, Allen, TX

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