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RYAN'S GIANT

Morgan, Alien
Illustrated by Marian Buchanan Toronto, Oasis Press, 1992. 32pp, paper, $7.95, ISBN 1-895092-02-7. CIP


Grades 1 to 5/Ages 6 to 10

Reviewed by Catherine McInerney

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September


Alien Morgan, best known for the Matthew and the Midnight... series, is back with a collection of three stories involving a Toronto boy named Ryan and his friend, who happens to be a giant.

In the first story, "The Giant Who Liked Bad Dreams," Ryan gets rid of his bad scary dreams by selling them to the giant for 5 cents each. The pastel illustrations swirl around the text, and there is a song to use for calling the giant (music included). The second story combines the already familiar characters with another fantastic element a dinosaur. This story will be popular with those absorbed in dinosaur study. Both of these stories are in tune with present-day concerns about the environment. The giant and the dinosaur help to recycle by eating junk and garbage, respectively.

"Dinosaur Doughnuts," the third story, follows Ryan and the giant as they attempt to find a suitable birthday present for the dinosaur. The action of this story seems a little bit slow, especially in the hide-and-seek game sequence.

This book would be great material for a teacher or teacher-librarian who is an accomplished story-teller. The catchy tunes will be well remembered by the children. However, the story is not as successful as a book for a Primary level child to read by himself or herself. The stories are very long and the text is small and tightly packed on the page. Vocabulary is fairly complex and it is not always possible to use the illustrations to decipher the text.


Catherine McInerney is a teacher-librarian in London, Ontario.

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