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The Giants and the Joneses Hardcover – August 11, 2005

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5–Most giants in Groil disregard the fairy tale about the tiny thief who once climbed a plant up to their land, but young Jumbeelia is sure that the pocket-sized iggly plops must exist. She drops a mysterious seed over the cloud edge, and, sure enough, a bimplestonk grows in the night. She climbs down to the miniature world where she collects some souvenirs, including three children–Collette; her brother, Stephen; and their baby sister, Poppy. The humans attempt to communicate with their huge captor, but, like all giants, Jumbeelia speaks only Groilish, and, in any case, she is too large to hear them. She installs the children in her dollhouse and plays nicely with her new toys, but her brother is jealous and wants the iggly plops for his own. When he gets hold of them, he plays cruel, dangerous games with them, even forcing Stephen into deadly combat with a colossal wasp. The children resolve to escape, but the giant world is filled with dangerous objects and enormous creatures, including a very hungry cat and a mad old giant with a grudge against humans. The use of Groilish adds the appeal of a secret code to the story. All dialogue among the giants is written strictly in their own language. In-text translation is rare, although almost everything is clear in context. Dictionaries are provided so that young readers can become proficient in the lingo. An exciting story with a subtle message about respect and cooperation.–Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
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Review

The Giants and the Joneses had humour, suspense and an invented language that enthralled me. (The Evening Standard (London))

Children will love this miniaturised adventure . . . it's set to be a giant hit. (The Herald (England))

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805078053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805078053
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,505,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the author of many successful books for children, including the classic THE GRUFFALO, which has won the Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Award for the Best Book to Read Aloud. THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD was one of the biggest best-sellers of 2004 and won WHS Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Julia has also written many children's plays and songs, and runs regular storytelling and drama workshops. She lives in Glasgow with her family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Bly on November 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My girls - 5 and 8 - love this book. I read it to them three months ago and we still talk about "igglyplops" and "bealy" things. The story is compelling -- three kids in a world of giants. The giants have their own language, but kids can identify with the giant childrens' normal everyday lives. There's an imagined world, suspense, and siblings who grow to love one another -- who could ask for anything else?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. L. Petersen on November 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Giants and the Joneses begins where Jack and the Beanstalk leaves off. In our time, the Giants of the land of Groil still tell the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk." But no one really believes in the "Iggly Plops" or the Little People. No one except an eight-year old giant named Jumbeelia. Jumbeelia drops a bean over the edge of Groil and the next day she climbs down a giant beanstalk where she collects a few new toys - including the three Jones children.

This is a fun story with the added challenge of a make-believe giant language to decode. (A dictionary is included.) The story does get a little scary when Jumbeelia's brother captures the Jones children and mistreats them, but this shouldn't be enough to put most children off. In addition, this story may lead readers to contemplate sibling relationships, treatment of smaller, helpless creatures, and whether there may be truth in legends.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lola O'Brien on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is what I wish I had known about this book before reading it to my children: After the children are abducted from their home they are subjected to various tortures which include: being almost intentionally drowned in a bath and sucked down the drain, being buried in sand up to their heads and threatened with giant insects, being juggled, being forced to eat giant hot peppers, used as crash-test-dummies in a remote control car, dangled out of windows, locked in jars with giant wasps and a pin for defence, and forced to do other things.
Here's a quote: "This miniature girl was the perfect victim for the experiments and tortures that he could only dream of inflicting on his life-size sister. He sqeezed her more tightly as her carried her into his room. Still smiling, he zipped her up in his gym bag..."
As an adult, I found these occurences - some of which were particularly, vividly protrayed through the eyes of the tortured children - rather upsetting and it was upsetting to my children as well.
We also found the constant Groilish a little annoying at times, just wishing for some plain english.
It is a well written book however but may not be enjoyable or appropriate for all children. I just found it depressing if anything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The book Giants and the Joneses was great. I liked how the book was based on Jack and the Beanstalk. I liked how the book had its own dictionary too. I recommend this book to a lot of people. I hope she writes a sequel. I can't wait to read her other books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C.C. on January 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an incredible book! I teach 2nd grade and used it to teach about context clues. The kids were mesmerized!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Waygood on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this to my daughter aged about 6 and thought it was great - so good that I bought a second copy and am currently reading it to my school class (aged 7-8). There are short chapters and "silly" giant-language, the characters are children aged from teenage to 3 so all ages are involved, and a great plot tying it all together. Well worth it.
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Format: Hardcover
I just read this to my 7-year-old, and we both found it to be a charming tale filled with adventure, suspense, imagination, and creativity. My daughter couldn't wait to see what would happen next, and I found this to be a fabulous read-aloud that didn't bore me either. The giants' language was simply enough formatted for me to fully understand the meaning, and my daughter loved the Groilish-English Dictionary located at the back of the book; she's been busy learning their language and is becoming quite fluent from "bealy" and "aheesh" to "blebber" and "bimplestock"! The soft pencil illustrations are engaging rather than distracting, the chapters only 8-10 pages in length, and the words chosen by Ms. Donaldson enabled me to explain and enlarge my child's vocabulary without it feeling burdensome. This is a wonderful children's story that I give 5 stars to and encourage you to not only purchase it but to sit down and read it together with your own favorite 6-10 year olds! Delightful!
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