A sample of good reads on creatures big and small in literature

The BFG

Author: Roald Dahl

This is a story of a little girl called Sofie and the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). One night, little Sofie is taken by a giant to giant country. Fortunately, he turns out to be a friendly giant who collects and distributes dreams, and destroys nightmares. The other giants, however, aren’t as nice. They routinely eat "human beans", especially children. How will Sofie get back to her home? Will she be able to stop the other giants from eating children?

In this book, Roald Dahl coins many new words. Some of them are names of giants: Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher, Manhugger, Childchewer, Meatdripper, Gizzardgulper, Maidmasher and the Bloodbottler. Yet other words are things in giant land – snozzcumber is a foul-tasting vegetable, frobscottle is a fizzy drink and whizzpopper is a word for a fart.

The Borrowers

Author: Mary Norton

For 14-year-old Arrietty and her parents, Pod and Homily, life changes when they befriend an Indian boy who has come to his aunt's house, to recover from rheumatic fever. Firstly, the boy finds Arietty and her family unusual because there are tiny people living under the floorboards of the house. Secondly, he finds out that the tiny people are known as the “Borrowers” for they survive by borrowing from the people of the house.

As he continues to be enthralled by the Borrowers, his family begins to notice that he is, in fact, behaving in the most peculiar manner. Worse still, small items in the house go missing. One day, the aunt stays up to catch the thief when she notices the boy giving household items to the Borrowers. She goes berserk on finding out that they live under her floorboards. She decides to send the boy back home and then to smoke the tiny family out. Will they escape the terrible fate? Read and find out!

Amos and Boris

William Steig

Amos, a mouse, wishes to explore the ocean. He builds a boat, studies navigation and sets sail on the sixth of September. All goes well until he accidentally falls into the sea. Tossed by the waves and weakening by the second, Amos thinks he will be dead soon. Miraculously, he is rescued by a blue whale called Boris. Amos requests Boris to take him home. The whale willingly complies.

During their journey they become close friends: discussing their very different lives, sharing secrets and jokes. On reaching home, Amos bids farewell to Boris with the promise that if Boris ever needs his help, he will be there for him. Unlikely as it is, there does come a time when the gigantic Boris needs little Amos’ help. Will Amos keep his promise?

Courtesy: Book Lovers Program for Schools (blps.in)

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