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
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)