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The Spiffiest Giant in Town Hardcover – March 10, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Hardcover, March 10, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-In a place where giants and "regular sized" people coexist peacefully, George has a problem. He is "the scruffiest giant in town" until he finds a new clothing shop and buys himself some new duds. However, his days of being the spiffiest giant in town are numbered because he is so kindhearted. As he sings a little tune to himself about looking so fine, he runs into needy creatures. Soon George has given up his striped tie to warm a giraffe's neck, a shoe to house a mouse family, his shirt to a goat that needs a sail for its boat, and so on until he has to retrieve his old rags. Finally, he is offered a crown and the title "the kindest giant in town" by his appreciative beneficiaries. Scheffler's brightly colored, animated cartoons, done in pencil, ink, watercolors, colored pencils, and crayons, are perfect for this offbeat story of generosity. Good for collections needing books about being kind to others.
Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 1. George, a giant, buys a spiffy new wardrobe to replace his worn, patched gown and sandals. Soon he strides through town and country, singing to himself and helping those he meets along the way. He gives his tie to a giraffe with a cold neck, one of his shoes to a mouse for a home, and his belt to help a dog who keeps sinking in a muddy bog. When his unbelted pants fall down (a sight that will provoke hoots and giggles from the story hour set), George realizes that he's cold. Once he finds his old clothes and his new friends again, he's warm both inside and out. George's song, which becomes longer each time he sings it, functions as a cumulative reflection of his good deeds and a rhythmic, rhyming break from the prose text. Children will find this an appealing tale, with especially nice art. Scheffler creates an unabashedly childlike, imaginary land where clothed animals, people, and giants peacefully coexist. Amusing details abound in the lively, colorful illustrations. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: AD600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (March 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803728484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803728486
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,299,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Scottish writer Julia Donaldson's charming enchanted tale in an enchanted, magical land where George the giant lives over a small world of people, elves and animals where they all coexist peacefully. One day, George tired of his scruffy look decides on a giant makeover. So he goes to the clothes shop (Haberdashery) run by the small people. Soon he's traded his monk robe and worn-out sandals for the spiffiest shirt, pants, shiny black shoes and the works. But, you know what his new look don't last long. He runs into the small town's creatures who need help. Like the giraffe whose afraid his neck will caught cold, the goat who need a sail for his boat and the family of mice whose house burnt down. He gives the giraffe his tie, the goat his shirt and one of his shoes to the mice for a house. Before you know it George is left standing outside the shop in his skivvies! When the shop is closed, the only thing George can do is put back on his dirty old clothes again. In the end, George is thanked by all those he had helped. The lesson to be learned that it's more important to be kind and generous toward others than to be cool and spiffy :). This is a delightful tale for people of all ages to keep in mind the moral to the story. Don't we need more like George the gentle giant in the world?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If the Gruffalo is one of my favorite books to read to my kids...
And The Gruffalo's Child is a tick lower than that...
And Room on the Broom is not quite as much fun as The Gruffalo's Child... then I have to say that "The Spiffiest Giant in Town" is a notch lower than all of them.
It's a simple little morality tale, well illustrated, but it doesn't have the wordplay and wit of the Gruffalo books.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great story of George the Giant who is tired of being the messiest giant in town. He decides to spruce himself up with some great new clothes. But on his way home, he meets all kinds of animals who need help. Through his acts of kindness, George becomes less and less spiffy. This a story that introduces the concept of putting others' needs before your own in a cute humorous way. The illustrations are as clever as they are expressive. My four and two year old request this story almost daily.
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Format: Hardcover
Author Julia Donaldson acquired a faithful following of British readers when years ago she first penned her masterpiece, ?The Gruffalo?. Unfortunately, America has yet to recognize this work formally and despite her numerous awards, Ms. Donaldson has not yet reached household name status in the States quite yet. I decided to introduce myself to her work by reading a book that, to my mind, embodies silliness and morality twofold. ?The Spiffiest Giant in Town? is, to be brief, about a spiffy giant. And it?s top notch.

Our hero in this tale is George the giant. George lives in a small village that is an odd combination of fairy tale old and twenty-first century new. In this particular village, giants are just ordinary citizens like anybody else. It hasn?t escaped George?s notice that when it comes to clothing, he?s sorely in need. Every day George wears the same old brown sandals and the same old-patched up gown (which looks like nothing so much as a linen dress). Says George, ?I wish I wasn?t the scruffiest giant in town?. One day, George sees that a store is selling giant sized clothing. Delighted he purchases ?a spiffy shirt, a spiffy pair of pants, a spiffy belt, a spiffy striped tie?, and spiffy socks and shoes. He leaves looking like an Assistant Bank Manager and soon he comes across a giraffe who?s missing a scarf. George gives his tie to the giraffe to keep him warm then moseys out of town. Next he sees a goat who?s lost his sail. George?s shirt solves that problem forthwith. You can see where this is going. By the time everything is said and done George is severely depleted in terms of outerwear and his old clothes start looking a little less scruffy after all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book but I could have SWORN there was another version that was The Spiffiest giant in town. Well I didn't notice the change to "smartest". Regardless, the story of giving and love is truly undeniable good teaching for our children! A great story of unconditional love and what really makes us smart or "spiffy" in another version!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is good but not at all as good as the Gruffalo or Room on a Broom. It doesn't hold the children's attention as well as other Julia Donaldson books and lacks the usual excitement, since the story is predictable and without twists , but it is a good story about morality and selflessness.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
LOVE this book. First heard of it on Sesame Street when Elmo was interviewing different public figures regarding their favorite children's books. This was the favorite of David Beckham. Haha. Borrowed from the library to check it out and we all fell in love with it. It's a family favorite and a go-to book for birthday gifts.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Julia Donaldson is one of our favourite writers, and The Spiffiest... is one of her best works. It's a great story, showcasing the gentleness and kindness of a eminently likable giant, but what we enjoyed particularly about this book was the cadence it has. The repetition of the ever lengthening song that the giant sings works wonderfully, reinforcing the action and hence making it easier for toddlers to understand, and also creating a sing song feel (though I havent figured a great tune for it yet). Totally recommended for kids above 3, and I am very happy to read it repeatedly as an adult too.
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