The Smartest Giant in Town

Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

For ages 5 to 8

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This book is best for:
  • adjectives
  • descriptive concepts - big, little, tall, short
  • narrative retell
  • possesive pronoun - his
  • possessive nouns
  • sequencing
  • subjective pronoun - he


George is tired of being scruffy, so he decides to update his image, and soon he’s the smartest giant in town. That is until he runs into some animals who desperately need his help. Being a kind giant, George donates his clothes, one piece at a time, to the animals in need.

The Smartest Giant in Town is another fantastic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It teaches children about empathy, kindness, and generosity through its engaging storyline and illustrations. Children love joining in with the cumulative rhyme in the story - and learning the rhyme also helps them to sequence the story events - bonus! The book is packed full of descriptive vocabulary, such as ‘long warm scarf’ and ‘big squelchy bog.' I also like using the illustrations in this book to teach the concepts of short and tall (as it can be quite hard to find books for these words). Multiple grammar goals can be targeted in this book, but it’s especially useful for possessive nouns (giant’s shirt, giraffe’s neck, goat’s boat, etc.), as well as masculine pronouns (he, his).

For further speech and language targets in The Smartest Giant in Town, see the list below.

Book Details

  • animals
  • clothing
  • friendship
  • generosity
  • giants
  • kindness
  • sharing

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /dj/ - giant, George, giraffe
  • /n/ - new, neck, nose, shiny, tiny, animals, town, brown, on, crown, ribbon
  • /r/ blends - brown, proudly, present, trousers, drop, dry, crossing, cry, crown, scruffy, stripy, strong
  • /s/ - sandals, sad, socks, sail, sing, safe, campsite, crossing, inside, house, mouse, mice
  • /s/ blends - stood, storm, stuck, scarf, sleeping bag, sniff, snuggle. smart, scruffy, stripy, squeak, squashing
  • adjectives (scruffy giant, old brown sandals, smart clothes, long warm scarf, stripy tie, strong new sail, new white shirt, magnificent sail, tiny ruined house, shiny shoes, warm dry sleeping bag, big squelchy bog, enormous present, beautiful gold paper crown)
  • superlative (scruffiest, smartest, coldest, cosiest, kindest)
  • copula (is, was)
  • regular past tense
  • irregular past tense verbs (wore, bought, strode, blew, came to, stood, took off, felt)
  • possessive nouns
  • possessive pronouns (his)
  • reflexive pronouns (himself)
  • subjective pronouns (he)
  • matching
  • labelling
  • describing functions of objects
  • identifying parts
  • describing
  • differences
  • predicting
  • identifying obstacles to an action
  • making inferences
  • homophones (smart)
  • what (what's the matter?)
  • descriptive (tall, short, big, little, large, small)
  • emotions (sad, proud)
  • empathy
  • friendship
  • generosity
  • good behaviour
  • initiating conversation
  • kindness
  • listening skills
  • problem solving
  • sharing
  • character description
  • setting
  • sequencing
  • initiating event
  • problem
  • plans
  • feelings
  • resolution
  • moral
  • dialogue
  • direct character speech
Rhyme & Sound Awareness:
  • rhyme
Book Info

Published by Pan MacMillan in 2013 (ISBN: 9781509812530)

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