We chose the book after we read it aloud around the Gecko Press meeting table and were mesmerised by Anna Höglund’s extraordinary language and compelling storytelling.

Julia Marshall, Publisher

The Stone Giant


A read-aloud storybook about cunning, courage and survival in which a girl sets out to save her father from the giant who turns everyone she meets to stone.




  • Description

    When her father leaves to save the people from a giant who turns them to stone with his gaze, the child in the red dress is left alone.
    Many days and many nights go by. Every evening the girl says good night to herself in her mirror. When the last light burns down, the girl takes her mirror and a knife and sets out to find her father.
    “I will save my father from the giant,” she says.
    The Stone Giant is a contemporary and timeless fairytale that tells of a child who succeeds where adults cannot.
    Based on a classic Swedish fairytale by Elsa Beskow, often called the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia whose books have been read by Swedish children for over 100 years.

  • Book Details

    Country of OriginFrance
    Reader Age5-7 year, 6-8 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Read it, Daddy!

      a fantastically dark little tale, not too scary for little ones but definitely one that evokes memories of classic Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson tales…with illustrations packed with detail and a timeless charm…filled with originality and thrills.

    2. Bookwitch

      Literature is full of clever little girls and stupid monsters. The Stone Giant by Anna Höglund, and translated by Julia Marshall, is one example.

    3. Kids Lit Life

      I found the story line tight and fast paced, with no superfluous words or events. There is a hint of sarcasm, which I appreciate in a children’s book. The primarily black and white pencil illustrations are simple and almost dreamlike. I love the message it conveys that girls are brave, strong, witty, and can rescue their fathers. Big Kid told me her favorite part was when the girl and her father were together again at the end. She also liked that this book was more the size, and had the feel of a chapter book even though there were illustrations on every page.

    4. Kirkus Reviews

      Höglund, a contemporary Swedish children’s-book creator, points to a story by legendary author/illustrator Elsa Beskow as this book’s inspiration. Translated from Swedish, the third-person text, always printed on verso and surrounded by generous white space, is brief yet specific, prompting ponderous pauses throughout. True to fairy-tale tradition, everyday objects possess the key to salvation. However, in a contemporary twist, it is not an adult or knight in shining armor but the child who does the rescuing, not through beauty or kindness but with fortitude and determination.

  • Reviews

    1. Barbara (goodreads)

      The tale is told with a light touch, leaving readers enraptured, and the softly-colored images, surrounded by white space, complement it well. This one doesn’t take long to read but will linger in reader’s minds for some time.

    2. Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

      This lovely little gem of a book reads like a fairy tale. A little girl lives on a small island with her father, a knight. He goes off in pursuit of a dangerous giant that he reads about in the newspaper. His daughter is left alone to worry. When he doesn’t return, she goes on a quest looking for him. She finds the creature and saves the day with a solution out of Greek mythology. The brief text nonetheless paints a believable picture of a hapless dad who is lucky to have a wise, intrepid daughter. The tone is gently humorous, especially as the reader sees the knight reading the newspaper, with his legs stretched out under the kitchen table. The illustrations are etchings with watercolor, and they simply and elegantly convey the story.

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