The Legend of the Dream Giants by Dustin Hansen Publication
Date: 3/8/22 Hardcover
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Retail Price: $18.99
Page Count: 240 Middle-Grade Fantasy
Book design and cover illustrations: Dustin Hansen
***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***
An orphaned giant named Berg is hoping to find just one person he can call friend. For many years, Berg has lived alone; the only reminders of his family are his mother’s satchel and his recurring dreams of a white bear who shares a magical sand from a fallen star. Sometimes, when Berg feels lonely, he will risk entering a village to trade a smooth river rock or a feather for food. He’s really searching for kindness and companionship; but with every attempt he makes, people chase him away, thinking he is Ünhold—a giant and a monster.
In his travels, Berg comes upon a city made of iron, where he meets a little girl, Anya. To his amazement and delight, Anya knows about the magical dream sand, too, and says she wants to be his friend. The mayor also befriends Berg and enlists him to guard the city from the dangerous Ünhold. But Anya suspects the mayor has other plans for the young giant. Fearing the city isn’t safe, she warns Berg to flee. Confused and torn between his two friends, the young giant has to figure out where he can place his trust. This tender and unique story-within-a-story is a riveting tale of loss, longing, adventure, being yourself, and finding the true meaning of friendship.
"Berg come(s) to terms with the coexistence of humankind’s darkness and sweetness and the age-old truth that things are not always what they seem. Hansen has created a compelling world that gives the feel of an old-fashioned fairy tale coupled with beautiful, black-and-white illustrations that contain echoes of the art nouveau era. These depictions of bears and wolves tell the story of Berg’s dreams, representing the quiet power of giants and the vicious persistence of humans. This artwork is stunning and heavy with emotion. Berg’s friendship with Anya is heartwarming and heartbreaking, as is his relationship to Ünhold. Hansen’s lilting writing has the feel of an epic poem, a tale of growing wise and of learning how to both hold on and let go. A moving and evocative must-read." —Kirkus, starred review
"A young giant finds both friendship and duplicity in The Legend of the Dream Giants, a beautifully illustrated novel by Dustin Hansen. Whimsical and poetic, the book’s descriptions of natural settings evince grace and originality. Its metaphors and similes are drawn from Berg’s experiences growing up in the wild. Berg’s dreams involve a mother bear and her cub, along with other animals. The dreams are depicted in wonderful, wordless grayscale drawings; they serve as a compelling, independent story within the story, and their relevance to Berg becomes clear as the book progresses. Berg himself is a sympathetic, misunderstood underdog who, despite his size, is very much an innocent. Elegant throughout, The Legend of the Dream Giants is a touching, memorable tale about trust, betrayal, and love." —Foreword Reviews, starred review