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The Iron Giant Paperback – July 20, 1999
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Ted Hughes, poet laureate of England, first wrote this compelling tall tale in 1968. Clearly, the need for its message of peace has not diminished in the decades since. Simple, repetitive sentences carry the mesmerizing spirit of traditional fairy tales. And Andrew Davidson's black-and-white illustrations, with their menacing air and timeless appeal, drive the point home in vivid style. (Ages 8 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
--The Horn Book
"A clever, inventive fantasy of timely appeal to children."
"Written with such great gusto, with such vivid precision, that children will sit spellbound in their ringside seats."
"A great book to start up a family reading tradition. Irresistible."
"Reckoned one of the greatest of modern fairy tales."
--The Observer (England)
"A thrilling and unforgettable tale, magnificently told."
--Trade News (England)
"Hughes has never written more compellingly...with linguistic tact and imaginative power to achieve something of possible enduring consequence."
--The Times (England)
--The Tablet (England)
--The Listener (England)
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Top Customer Reviews
It was very funny sometimes, like when the seagulls found the giant in tiny pieces, and he came up with a funny way to find all his parts!
It was very exciting. The Iron Giant has to go into fire against a space monster that is bothering the world.
This book teaches about living in peace and not having so many wars. I am 71/2 years old, and it was not too hard for me to read by myself.
The thing that first surprised me about this book is that it is beautifully written. It's obvious from its prose that Ted Hughes is also a poet. The slightly sophisticated language might be too much for those under 7, but I found it refreshingly charming.
The second surprise was that this book had very little to do with the movie. There's an Iron Giant in the movie and book as well as a young boy...and that's about it. The theme's are the same (in that this world can be a world of peace instead of a world of violence and fear) but both approach this lesson from different directions.
In the book, the Iron Giant, tricked by the boy, falls into a trap set for him by fearful farmers. The farmers quickly dispose of the giant, but the giant returns and it's up to the boy again to figure out how best to deal with him. In the end the boy and giant become friends but there is a bigger threat on the horizon, a space dragon the size of Australia has come to earth and only the Iron Giant can save the planet.
There's a lot of deep information here for such a short children's book. The Iron Giant (like in the movie) represents misguided fear. The space dragon can mean a number of things, but I align it with this planets habit of aggression... an aggression that threatens to consume us all. This book was written 30 years ago, but it seems timelier now than it did in the 1970's.
Now the intent of Hughes's original story, as well as that of the very good recent movie which is loosely based on it, is to show the futility of war, violence, etc. Hughes book was written at the height of the Cold War and the space-bat-angel-dragon can be understood to be the Left's idealized version of the Soviet Union--a threat only because of our own attitudes and actions. The Soviet Union having been disposed of in subsequent years, the movie makes a more generalized anti-gun, anti-military, pro-nonconformity statement.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We really loved this book. It's a short enough read that you could do it all in one long afternoon session, or break it up into 3 or 4 shorter sessions. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lindsay R.
To be perfectly honest, seeing the film first and then reading the book, it was only then I fully became aware that it was "for children" and what made it so. Read morePublished 2 months ago by palealien
This is a good book, but what it is really good at, is inspiring me to leap beyond it; think about it, long after I put the book down. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Feo Amante
As mentioned in other reviews, this is not the movie Iron Giant. The story is bad, and so is the writing. I didn't like it at all!!!!Published 3 months ago by Baxter
book was ok but I'm still looking for a picture storybook from the moviePublished 4 months ago by brian mackey
Short story great story based in the 1950s town and great writing fun readPublished 5 months ago by John P Wilkerson