A Book of Giants

A Book of Giants is a 1963 anthology of 13 fairy tales from Europe that have been collected and retold by Ruth Manning-Sanders. It is one in a long series of such anthologies by Manning-Sanders. It was the first anthology to receive the familiar "A Book of..." title that Manning-Sanders would become notable for.

A Book of Giants
First US edition
AuthorRuth Manning-Sanders
IllustratorRobin Jacques
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreFairy Tales
PublisherMethuen & Co. Ltd. (UK)
E. P. Dutton (US)
Publication date
1962 (UK)
1963 (US)
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages125 pp

This book was first published in the United Kingdom in 1962, by Methuen & Co. Ltd. It has been used in schools as a study aid.[1]

Some of the tales from this book are also included in A Choice of Magic (1971) by Manning-Sanders. And some of the tales from this book are included in Folk and Fairy Tales (1978) by Manning-Sanders.

And in the foreword, Manning-Sanders discusses the long-ago roots of tales about giants: "The stories in this book are very old, and they come from many countries. We don't know who first told the story of Jack and the Beanstalk; but it has always been a favourite, and it used to be hawked around England in those little stitched-together pamphlets, called chapbooks, which travelling pedlars sold to the countryfolk for a penny or two each."

The author adds: "You will notice that the giants, wherever they come from, have one thing in common: they are all very stupid, and the way to overcome them is to use your wits."

Table of contentsEdit

i. Jack and the Giant Cormoran
ii. Jack and the Giant Tantarem
iii. Jack and the Welsh Giant
iv. Jack, the King of England's Son, and the Giant with Three Heads
v. Jack and the Giant Thunderdell
vi. Jack, the Giant Galligantua, and the Enchanter


Kirkus Reviews gave A Book of Giants a kirkus star and wrote "Miss Manning-Sanders narrates these old legends in a direct language..." and "In his fine-lined drawings, Robin Jacques has built up a good contrast between the large and the small and has captured the essence of giantdom with a light touch."[2] The Observer found "A splendid jacket by Robin Jacques at once invites the eye. Of course, myths have almost always been unfair to giants: still, we could not separate them from nursery lore, especially when, as in several of these tales, they are merely kindly, stupid fellows, easily outwitted (but not slain) by some sharp little dwarf. Though some are from local sources, others are from as far afield as Russian Georgia or Jutland. But are they so different?"[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Moss, Joy F. (1984). Focus Units in Literature: A Handbook for Elementary School Teachers (PDF). National Council of Teachers of English. p. 194. ISBN 0-8141-1756-2. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  2. ^ "A Book of Giants". www.kirkusreviews.com. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. ^ Naomi Lewis (22 July 1962). "Book Review". The Observer.