The True Tale of a Giantess

Anne Renaud
Marie Lafrance

“When I was small, I was already big news,” Anna Swan tells readers in this picture book biography. When she was born in Nova Scotia in 1846, people for miles around chattered about her. They whispered over tea and gossiped across fences. Because even when she was small, Anna was TREMENDOUS. At four years old, she was higher than a rain barrel. At six, she was taller than her mother, and by ten she towered over her father. Anna grew up feeling like she poked and bulged and jutted out from all sorts of spaces, never quite fitting into her small country life. Then, at age seventeen, Anna moved to New York City to be part of P. T. Barnum's Gallery of Wonders --- and her life changed forever. Anna Swan lived an inspiring life as big as she was, filled with fame, wealth, world travel and true love.

In this thoroughly researched picture book biography, Anne Renaud uses playful and rhythmic language and first-person storytelling to perfectly capture the essence of this unique woman's uplifting life. The detailed, folk art-inspired illustrations beautifully convey the story's time and place and sensitively portray Anna's growth. A great lead-in for classroom discussions about differences and inclusion, this book also offers an excellent character education lesson on perseverance. An author's note with photographs and more information about Anna's life make this a terrific choice for lessons on personal development or for social studies lessons on this period in history.

978-1-77138-376-9 | Sep 4, 2018
List Price: USD $17.99, CAD $18.99
4-color 9 x 10 32 pages
Grades: Pre-K To 3 / Ages: 4 to 8
978-1-5253-0168-1 | Sep 4, 2018
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Awards & Reviews

“... young readers' curiosity will be sparked by her unusual size, but they'll also relate to the theme of finding a place to fit in.”
— Booklist, August 2018
“Author Anne Renaud gives Swan a voice to tell her own life story.”
— Montreal Review of Books, November 2018
“... a warm and pleasant book ...”
— CM Magazine, November 2018
“... enchanting ...”
— Canadian Teacher Magazine, January 2019
“This book would be good to use with young children to show how even though some people may look different, everybody has a place.”
— Resource Links, December 2018
2019 - Delaware Diamonds Award, Diamond State Reading Association, Short-listed
2019 - Information Book Award, Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable, Short-listed
2019 - Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2018 - Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Award, California Reading Association, Honor Book
2018 - Cybils Award - Elementary Nonfiction Category, Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards, Finalist

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