Book Review: The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson

Book Review: The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson

8 Mar 2018 | 3 min Read

Neha Khanna (PearlBuds)

Author | 20 Articles


I came across this book in 2013 at the home of one of my clients. I  thought it would be an Ok kinda book which spoke about giants and how the whole village was scared and etc etc.


The book was everything but that. This book portrays a gentle giant who thinks of others first rather than himself. He was known as the ‘scruffiest giant’ in the town. He desperately wants to be the smartest giant in town. So, one day he goes to the shop and buys himself a whole new outfit of smart clothes and leaves behind his old brown sandals and patched up gown.


As he walks back home, he comes across a number of animals in  trouble. S he helps them with his new clothes. They are used as a scarf, as a sail, as a house, and as a sleeping bag. What a delightful way of putting across the message of  helping others when in need and generosity. But he ends up giving away all the new clothes and having no clothes to wear for himself.


Well, what happens when he walks back to the store is really  cute..!!


The book itself is full of illustrations and full of descriptive words, for example, ‘a smart stripy tie.’ The use of rhyme is evident in the book with repetition along the way. This is excellent to help the children recognise what previously happened while adding to the rhyme making it more exciting. I love to sing it as a poem to Little R rather than read it as a book. The vivid, bold and entertaining illustrations, in which there are giants and normal sized people all together in the town, would captivate children.


This book is a personal favourite and I strongly recommend it as it is an important topic to teach children. It has a lovely message of caring, helping others and that material things are not always needed in life.


Activities to do with your child:



  • Match the clothes to the animals the giant gave them to.
  • Clothes vocabulary
  • Animal Vocabulary
  • Make a friendly giant art activity.
  • Helping words vocabulary
  • Learn and introduce adjectives like “Smart or Strippy Tie” and ask “How” questions.


I would recommend this book- a definite keepsake for your home library and night-time read. It’s an all time favorite in our household.


Also Read: Book Review: Pop-up Pull-out Picture Atlas

Explore the entire collection of articles: Books To Read



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