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The Giant Who Had No Heart by Linda Allen

The Giant Who Had No Heart (edition 1988)

by Linda Allen (Author)

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Title:The Giant Who Had No Heart
Authors:Linda Allen (Author)
Info:Philomel (1988)
Collections:Children's Books, Your library
Tags:picture books, folk and fairy tales

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The Giant Who Had No Heart by Linda Allen



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When his six elder brothers fail to return from their quest to find brides, young prince Ashiepattle sets out after them. Aiding a raven, a salmon, and a wolf along his journey, Ashiepattle eventually comes to the castle of a giant with no heart, where he finds his brothers transformed into stone statues. With the help of a princess imprisoned by the giant, as well as the creatures he encountered on his travels, Ashiepattle discovers the giant's hidden heart, defeats him, and frees his brothers, winning his own bride in the process...

An adaptation of a Norwegian folktale from the collection of Asbjørnsen and Moe, The Giant Who Had No Heart reminded me in parts of tales like The Good-Hearted Youngest Brother, in which a hunter spares a succession of creatures who later reward him, or The Wizard Punchkin, in which a prince battles a wizard who has stored his soul outside of his body. It is quite entertaining to pick out these sorts of folk-parallels, but unfortunately, that is one of the only pleasures afforded by this picture-book.

Linda Allen's narrative is rather flat, with almost no sense of adventure or excitement. The gorier details of the original, like Ashiepattle feeding his horse to the starving wolf, have been omitted. The illustrations, which draw upon the traditional folk-motifs of Allen's Swedish background, are uninspiring. All the characters look exactly alike: the same stiff postures, the same faces, even the same hair! In sum, this reads like a watered down version of a better story. Why not just read Asbjørnsen and Moe, and have done with it? ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 18, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399214461, Hardcover)

The youngest son of a king goes in search of his missing six brothers who, together with their brides, have been turned to stone by a giant who has no heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:32 -0400)

The youngest son of a king goes in search of his missing six brothers who, together with their brides, have been turned to stone by a giant who has no heart.

(summary from another edition)

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