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The Smartest Giant in Town

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,657 ratings  ·  202 reviews
George wished he wasn't the scruffiest giant in town

So, one day, he sees a shop selling giant-size clothes, he decides it's time for a new look. With smart trousers, a smart shirt, stripy tie and shiny shoes, George is a new giant.

But on his way home, he meets various animals who desperately need his help ... and his clothes!

"My absolute favourite of this year's picture bo
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by MacMillan Children's Books (first published September 2002)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,657 ratings  ·  202 reviews

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Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love Julia Donaldson and the kindest giant in the town!
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a nice story! My 7 years old daughter had to read it for her summer homeworks, we read it together. The story is very simple, the giant after having bought new clothes for himself, met new people in need or in dangerous situations, so he gave them little by little her new clothes and accessories in order to let them stay better. A very cute way to learn generosity and friendship. she likes this book very much! the pictures by Alex Sheffler are wonderful!

Sophia Triad
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Another pretty book by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.
George the Giant gives all his new clothes to his little animal friends who need them.
In the end, he may not be the smartest giant in town but he is definitely the kindest.
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adorable cumulative tale of a giant who longs to be the spiffiest giant in town. He leaves his white robe and sandals (coincidence, or meant to evoke images of a certain religious figure?) and buys some spiffy new giant clothes from a shop that just opened. But, he soon meets a giraffe with a very cold neck (and it turns out the giant-tie is a perfect size for a scarf), and a mouse whose house burned down (and a giant's shoe is really just the right size for a mouse-house), etc. Soon, our kin ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The combination of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler work so well together as writer and artist and they do not disappoint in 'The Smartest Giant'. Who could not feel sorry for Scheffler's Giant, named George, when he is 'the scruffiest giant in town' and who could not feel so proud of him when he is kitted out in all new clothes that make him the smartest giant in town?

But ... after he had bought a smart shirt, a smart pair of trousers, a smart belt, a smart stripy tie, some smart socks with d
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judith Johnson
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another corker from the Dynamic Duo! If I had a shelf for favourite giant books, this would go on it, alongside Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and Road Dahl’s The BFG!
Laura Hickey
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book portrays a gentle giant who thinks of others first rather than himself. He was known as the ‘scruffiest giant’ in the town. He buys himself some smart new clothes, however, when he meets animals on his way home that are in need of help he gives them one piece of clothing. They are used as a scarf, as a sail, as a house, and as a sleeping bag. It explains to children the topic of helping others when in need. The book itself is full of illustrations and full of descriptive words, for exa ...more
Cute children's story about sharing and kindness.
Bernadette Robinson
I read this to my granddaughter as a bedtime story.

The story and the illustrations were lovely and the moral of the story was fab. It proves that by showing kindness to others, that kindness will be returned to you. A lovely moral to the story and my granddaughter enjoyed it.
Another winner from Donaldson & Scheffler. First we got Room on the Broom, then A Squash and a Squeeze. Next came The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. Then Charlie Cook's Favourite Book and The Smartest Giant in Town . Six books in, and Donaldson's yet to drop the ball - she's the most consistently excellent, fun, easy to read aloud, and imaginative picture book author I've found (so far).

The core thread of The Smartest Giant is a cumulative rhyme. The giant has a heart of gold, but he
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Donaldson exemplifies the importance of kindness over vanity as the 'smartest giant in town' slowly gives away all his new clothes to various animals in need on his way home, until he realises that material assets such as clothes are not as important as helping others.
I found this book while searching the shelves at the local library for another title by this author. It sounded fun. AND IT WAS! My girls and I had so much fun reading this book and the theme through it all was kindness. Sigh. It was delightful.

Now I must find all the books by her...
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I love this book. It's funny and has a song that you can sing along to, if you feel so inclined (it's online). It shows the great kindness of George the Giant. Am looking forward to reading this to my class.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The boys recognized their work right away and thought it was going to be another Gruffalo story. They were bummed when it wasn't but pleased by the end of the story. A great tale about being kind, thoughtful, selfless, and a good sharer.
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
Another book I enjoyed reading from the writer of "The Gruffalo", with good story and illustrations.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-book
I absolutely love Julia Donaldson, and this book is my favorite of all (although I also love The Gruffalo!) Both my kids love the book and the kind giant. My elder did a play at school based on this book!
Rebecca Morris
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really like this book because it encourages children to be kind and to share. Throughout this book, there is a lot of repetition which children can eventually pick up on. The most common repeated phrase is "But look me up and down - I'm the smartest giant in town!" When reading this book with a class, children can be encouraged to join in so they remain engaged throughout the book.
This book can really help children develop their understanding of superlatives because 'smartest' and 'scruffiest
Alastair Jamieson
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Smartest Giant in Town is a fantastic picture book, aimed at Early Years learners, which contains a heart-warming story, excellent visual aids and rhymes that are repeated and added to as the narrative continues.
It tells the story of a Giant named George who, fed up of wearing his scruffy old gown, decides to splash out on a whole new set of clothes. Proud of his new attire, George sets off from the clothes shop on his way home, but is interrupted by a series of animals in distress, for exa
Selma D
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
The Smartest Giant in Townby Julia Donaldson
Age I would use it for: 5-7

Brief Synopsis:
George the giant goes around town helping all the animals with his new smart clothes; tie for a giraffe, shirt for a goat’s boat, shoes for a mouse house. He sing’s around town about the clothes he has given “I am the smartest giant in town” whilst his clothing dwindles and he becomes more and more scruffy.

My Opinion:
As a short story I found it quite a tedious read. The repetitive cycle of events; giant gi
Helen Byrne
In this story George, the main character, is the scruffiest giant in town. He desperately wants to be the smartest giant in town instead, so he goes to the shop and buys himself a whole new outfit of smart clothes and leaves behind his old brown sandals and patched up gown. Along his way home he comes across a number of animals in trouble, so he helps them with his new clothes and ends up giving away all the new clothes and having no clothes to wear for himself. He goes back to the shop to buy m ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I enjoyed it as an adult and the chn loved it too. It puts across the message of sharing with those less fortunate and also of how good friendship can be. The basic story-line for this book is about the scruffiest giant in town becoming the smartest giant in town. The giant decides to treat himself to a new outfit yet, when seeing others in need, ends up giving away all of his new clothes (leaving him with nothing). Then, towards the end, the creatures he helped ...more
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
'The Smartest Giant in Town' is another Julia Donaldson classic. It tells the story of a giant who buys himself some new clothes only to disperse them to various creatures around the town. He gives one of his socks to a fox to use as a sleeping bag and his scarf to a giraffe and this goes on until he ends up with very few clothes and decides to put his old worn clothes back on. The moral of this story is that what is on the inside is more important than what is on the outside. At the end of the ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
By Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler

I love this story and already can’t wait to read it to my year 2 class. The thought of a friendly giant in town is a winner for me, cool idea and allows your imagination to wonder. George the scruffiest giant in town wants to be the smartest giant so he buys himself a new outfit, smart shoes, trousers, shirt and tie. When walking home he comes across an array of animals in trouble, so he helps each animal by giving away his new clothes. The animals return and sh
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is yet another brilliant book by Julia Donaldson. The story is about a giant named George that buys a new set of clothes because he feels that he does not want to be "the scruffiest giant in town." Thus, he buys himself a new outfit that makes him look like the smartest giant in town. However, when George was on his way home, he comes across various different animals that need his help and he gives them different items of his clothes as he believes that they need them more than he does. In ...more
May 09, 2012 added it
The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson is a endearing book. It tells the story of a Giant that is upset by the fact that he doesn't own any smart, clean clothes. However, one day he spots a shop with wonderful clothes and picks the finest of them all. As he walks along the town he meets a giraffe, a goat, some mice, a fox and many more animals. Each animal has their own worry and problem, but the kind Giant helps them by giving them his smart new clothes.

This wonderful book with beautiful
Stephen Barry
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think this is a good book for children to read, it teaches generousity and thinking of others before yourself. The story is centered around a kind hearted giant who has shabby clothes and wants to look smart. He manages to to buy a smart outfit and has seemingly achieved his goal. He then however begins to hand out his large clothes to people who are more needy of them than he. He realises that these are all material things and in the end is just as happy in his old clothes. He accumulates man ...more
Emer Mattimoe
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 5-7 Year olds
This book tells the story of a scruffy giant who buys some smart clothes. He meets lots of animals who need different things and he donates items of his new clothing to the animals. He thinks he is the smartest giant in the town. He then finds himself without any clothes because he has given them all away and goes back to the shop to buy more clothes however the shop is closed. He finds his scruffy clothes again He then finds a parcel from all the animals he helped out with a lovely note. This i ...more
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: primary
I think this is a very descriptive, well illustrated story. It portrays the gentle nature of this giant called George and how he helps others without any thought for himself. Having bought himself some new clothes he finds that there are animals, all with a greater need than him and he gives away his new items of clothing. They are used for a sail, a home and a sleeping bag. It includes descriptive adjectives. eg. smart shirt, wonderful scarf, magnificent sail etc. It also uses repetition and so ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

What a great story, and a fun way to demonstrate empathy and kindness to even a young child. (My enjoyment was only spoiled by the U.S. publishers' decision to "correct" some of the words to their American equivalent. When I buy this, I'll be sure to buy the U.K. edition.)
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Growing up
I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Cho