Angelino is a little giant. Tired of being teased and ignored for being too small, he runs away from home. On his journey he meets Osvaldo, who is exactly the same size. But Osvaldo is not a little giant, he is a big dwarf. And Osvaldo has also left his village, because he was teased and ignored too. When war breaks out between the giants and the dwarfs, it's up to Angelino and Osvaldo to show the villages that they are not so different after all.
"PreS-Gr. 3. It's difficult to pinpoint an audience for this odd little parable by Ruzzier, who recently illustratedarlauskin's poetry collection, Moon, Have You Met My Mother? 0 (2003). Two outcasts from warring tribes, an oversize dwarf and an undersize giant, meet and are thrilled to discover that they are identical in every way, right down to their dhoti-style loincloths, balding heads, and enormous ears. Their uncanny similarity leads to a truce between the giants and dwarves, because "How could the giants and dwarves keep on fighting when no one could tell one from the other?" Though the simple plot and spare text suggest a preschool or kindergarten audience, Ruzzier's muted palette and unvaried characters (whether scaled up or down, they all look like a cross between Tolkein's Golem and Ghandi) probably won't appeal to very young children. But for older kids, who will embrace the messages of peace, acceptance, and brotherly love, the book can serve as a springboard for discussing conflict. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In this tale of peace, a miniature giant and his lookalike, a "big dwarf," thwart a war between their rival clans. Angelino de'Grandi, whose Italian surname implies large dimensions, is tiny compared to his wall-eyed, shirtless fellow giants. His diaper-like white loincloth and the blond curl atop his otherwise bald head lend him an infantile appearance; his towering people want nothing to do with him. Angelino sadly leaves his mountain home and wanders into the rocky territory of his near-twin, Osvaldo Curti, whose own surname suggests brevity. Osvaldo is alone, too: "[T]he other dwarfs don't like me. They think I am too tall," he explains. The exiles become instant soul mates. Later, when violence breaks out among their villages, Angelino is mistaken for Osvaldo and vice versa. The battle dissolves: "How could the giants and the dwarfs keep fighting, when no one could tell one from the other?" Ruzzier, who illustrated Moon, Have You Met My Mother?, depicts Angelino and Osvaldo as folkloric figures in an all-male realm, who live in a desert painted in muted greens, soft blues and sandstone yellows and reds. Ruzzier logically suggests that understanding develops when people look beyond superficial physical traits, although the heroes' friendship is based on both external similarities and outcast status. Readers may well ask why the combatants, who have mistreated Angelino and Osvaldo, would revise their opinions in wartime. Ruzzier's mythic style suggests a profound meaning that his good-intentioned story doesn't quite deliver. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved