#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Early Readers Features Genre Lifespan of a Reader Middle Grade Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes Witches and Goddesses Dryads and Priestesses

[Nonfiction Wednesday] A Giantess Goddess: “The Story Of Anna Swan”

"The True Tale Of A Giantess: The Story Of Anna Swan" by Anne Renaud and Marie Lafrance.

Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2019 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.


The True Tale Of A Giantess: The Story Of Anna Swan

(Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Anne Renaud Illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Published by Kids Can Press (2018)
ISBN: 1771383763 (ISBN13: 9781771383769)
Borrowed via Singapore’s NLB Overdrive. E-Book photos taken by me.

When I found this on my NLB Overdrive, I thought it would be a good fit for our current reading theme, especially since giant goddesses, like Anna Swan, are rare and far between.

Anna Swan was born near Tatamagouche in Nova Scotia. From infancy, she was already considered “big news” as her size was definitely unlike any of the newborns in their area – or anywhere in the world, for that matter. She continued to grow and grow, perhaps already as tall as I am (I am tiny, by the way) when she was only four years old.

Similar to the realities of people who are different from everybody else, Anna had her fair share of taunts and ridicule. Until one day, Phineas Taylor Barnum learned about her and invited her to join his “Gallery of Wonders” in New York City. While Anna’s parents were rightfully reluctant, Anna convinced them that it was her opportunity to see the world – and that she did, even meeting the Queen of England and having tea with her!

Of course, not everything was flowing laces and elegant 16 1/2 shoes especially tailored for Anna’s size as she performed for people who considered her a novelty – her very existence a spectacle.

Yet, what struck me the most about this picturebook biography is the gentleness and quiet dignity in which Anna led her life, notwithstanding her being constantly perceived as an outsider. She has embraced her “differentness” and fashioned a life for herself and her husband the best way she knew how – and in the end, that is the one thing we can wish for our lives. Definitely a picturebook biography you should add to your library.


#WomenReadWomen2019: Canada (both author and illustrator are from Canada)

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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