Recently, my son came home from school with a self-illustrated booklet entitled “My Giant.”  The booklet was part of a class response to a story they read together, probably of the same name.  On each page he filled in the blanks to compare his imagined giant to things, or to describe the giant’s likes, dislikes, and activities.

cover

"Al"

I couldn’t help thinking about this Giant figure as more than just the imaginary friend of the story, but a metaphor for something else…

bigger than...

If, for instance, a Giant was a problem, what would that problem be bigger than?  Or smaller than?

not as big as...

OK, so a giant/problem that is shorter than an eleven story building I can wrap my mind around and is perhaps manageable,  given that we used to live in a 12 story building (plus storage floor) I know exactly how big that giant is.  And then again, the guy looks friendly enough, especially with those erased ears that were added by a first grade girl who thought the giant might need some.  The illustrator clearly did not like that!

But reading on through the booklet, I had to let the metaphor idea drop, because Al did turn out to be quite the likable guy and more than just an idea.

"my giant lives in the clouds."

This cloud-hopper makes me smile!

"eats chicken"

hates to waste...

And this scolding expression as the giant leaps toward the trash can is like a basketball dunk good-bye to that nasty trash!

likes to play baseball...

Notice the matching blue gloves and the lightning bolts on the giant’s cleats.

"My giant and I play knights."

I’m guessing there are many seven-year-old boys who could imagine what good company a very tall friend would make–especially one who lives in the clouds, eats chicken, doesn’t like to waste, and plays not only knights but baseball too.  So although not all giants are monsters, I plan to write more later about monsters as good metaphors for the tricky and the troublesome, whatever size they come.

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