Giant Trouble

Giant Trouble

by Gwen McCutcheon, illustrated by Mike Rooth
Skyreader Media, 2011
introductory price: $0.99, ages 5 – 10
ebook iPad app available from iTunes

One day, Finn McCoul, the largest giant in Ireland, decides to build a bridge to Scotland. When the bridge is almost complete, he looks up to see an enormous giant standing on Scotland’s shore. The giant identifies himself as Cucullin and “fighting giants” as his game. He thanks Finn for building the bridge because now he can cross to Ireland and fight Finn McCoul and become the most famous giant in the world. Finn pretends to be just a bridge builder and makes a hasty retreat, with Cucullin not far behind. When Finn arrives home shaking in fear, his crafty wife Oona quickly takes things in hand and comes up with a scheme to make Cucullin think that Finn is much bigger and stronger than he is. The story teaches a lesson in how bullies can be foiled using your brains rather than brawn.

This version of a folktale is formatted as an iPad app. It allows readers two options: listen to the text read aloud by a narrator, or turn the narration off and read the text independently. Sound effects and the auto page turn function can also be turned on or off. This ebook works beautifully, is well illustrated, and has a clear soundtrack. Our eight-year-old test reader thought it was great. With more schools being equipped with iPads for student use, this is a good example of a teaching resource that bridges the traditional print book with new technology.

Review by Diana Mumford.

This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Sept/Oct 2011 issue.

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