Written & Illustrated by: Dan Andreasen
Published in 2007
Genre: Biography, Historical Fiction (this story is based on the real life of Martin Van Buren Bates)
Grade Level: K-3
Summary: The Giant of Seville is a “tall” tale based on a true story. Captain Martin Van Buren Bates was a real giant who lived during the 19th century. This book tells the story of his arrival in Seville, Ohio as he searches for a new home.
This was a fun and cute story, and I really enjoyed reading it. The illustrations were wonderful and the tones fit the theme of a historical fiction. I really liked the way Andreasen drew the people in the book. I also loved that each page had decorated border along the edges. It gave the story the feel of an old storybook, which really enhanced the experience. Sometimes it’s the little details that make all the difference.
My only complaint would be that I was a bit confused about what was fact and what was fiction. This book was in the biography section of my library, but it is also part fiction. I did like that there was an actual biography of Captain Bates in the back of the book, and after doing a bit of research it looks like that biography was accurate. The picture that accompanies the biography would be great to show children just how tall Captain Bates actually was.
Final Thoughts: I enjoyed reading this book, but the confusion about the content took away a bit of the enjoyment. I don’t know that I would read this book in my classroom, but it might be nice to have it on hand should a situation arise where it could be useful.
I give The Giant of Seville four stars.