Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When Giants Come to Play

When Giants Come to Play
By Andrea Beaty
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

About the book:
On certain summer mornings, when the day is stretched out before you, full of possibility, it feels as if something special must happen. What if that something special were a visit from two friendly giants? For those who dream big, here is a funny, lyrical celebration of friendship and the sort of summer days when anything can- and does- happen.

About the author:
Andrea Beaty loves giants. Her favorite giants, like her favorite people, are full of wonder and laughter. They also love singing and cupcakes. Andrea grew up in southern Illinois and now lives near Chicago, where she waits for those special summer mornings when the sun shines just so… and anything is possible.
Her web address is

About the illustrator:
As a child one of Kevin Hawkes favorite stories was Jack and the Beanstalk. Ever since then, he has had an interest in all things giant. He and his family live in Maine, a giant state, where he works in a medium-sized studio. Learn more about Kevin at

Pre-reading activity:
Do you have imaginary friends? What do they look like? When do they come to play? Can you describe them? Draw a picture of them?

Questions to consider:

  1. When do the giants come? Why do you think summer is a good time?
  2. What types of games do they play?
  3. What are your favorite games to play with friends? What do you play when you’re by yourself?
  4. What does it mean to “play for keeps?” Do you like to play for keeps or not?
  5. Describe a “mild day.”  What do Anna and the giants like to do with one? What is your favorite kind of weather?
  6. What else do they play? What do you think would be the most fun? Why?
  7. Can the giants come to your house? What would you play with them? What would your neighbors say?
  8. In the end, what is Anna hoping for?
  9. Which illustration is your favorite? Why?
  10. Why do you think Kevin Hawkes, the illustrator, chose the palette (or range of colors) that he did?


Language Arts:

Write an invitation to the giants or your own favorite imaginary friend- be sure to include the activities you’re hoping to play together! Don’t forget to add a picture and a stamp!


Sing this song about the giants to the tune of “Frere Jacques”

Play with giants
Play with giants
All day long
All day long

Racing, jumping, singing
Catching, snacking, pitching

Summer days,
Long summer days.


Paint a picture inspired by the words “when the sun shines just so” or “the wind blows like this and like that.”  It can be a realistic picture or one that uses only shapes.


What words do you think the giants and Anna are sharing in one of the scenes? Can you act them out with a friend?