The Selfish Giant

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The Selfish Giant - Oscar Wilde

The Selfish Giant from the pen of celebrated writer Oscar Wilde is a classic tale that never looses its magic and enchantment.

Delving into the classics provides a powerfully rich source of enchanting literature for young readers. Never more so, than with The Selfish Giant.

The giant returns to his castle, having been away for seven years. During that time the local children have taken much delight in playing amongst the natural delights the garden offers throughout the year. The giant is not at all happy with this, and procedes to build a wall round his property to ensure the children can not continue with their fun and happiness.

Whilst the season change in the village, Winter remains dominant in the giant’s garden. Wilde personifies the seasons and their elements – the snows dances and the frost paints the trees silver – in imaginatively rich sentences, which celebrate all that nature has to offer.

As the story progresses its richness reveals layers of meaning celebrating kindness and friendship.

Ritva Voutila, an Australian illustrator, adds a mesmerising dimension to Wilde’s tale. The illustrations are rich, engrossing and utterly enchanting as they fill the large (A4) pages of this hardcover edition. Her style complements the story perfectly.

Voutila’s portrait of the North Wind, Snow and Frost as they play in the garden is one of my favourite. Those wonderful end pages? They imbue the book with a wonderfully tactile edge.


Oscar WIlde
Ritva Voutila
Allen & Unwin

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