The Legend of the Dream Giants

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Pub Date 08 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 22 Mar 2022

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Description

An orphaned giant named Berg is in search of just one person he can call friend.

When he was very young, Berg’s mother hid him in a cave and led an angry mob of villagers away, sacrificing her own life to protect her son. In all the years since, 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. When the white bear touches Berg with the star-blue sand, he feels safe and happy in his dreams. Sometimes, when he 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, companionship, and, maybe one day, someone who will want to get to know him and be his friend. But with every attempt he makes, people only see his massive size and cruelly chase him away, thinking he is Ünhold—a giant and a monster. Whoever this Ünhold is, Berg also fears him and hopes they never meet.

In his travels, Berg comes upon a new town, a city made of iron where blacksmiths construct all kinds of ironworks from gates to sculptures to chains and weapons. Berg meets a little girl, Anya, who doesn’t run and scream in fear like everyone else does. To his amazement and delight, Anya knows about the dream-sand and says she wants to be his friend.

The mayor convinces the villagers of the benefit of having a giant around who can protect their city from the dangers he says Ünhold has in store for them. Anya has learned about the dream-sand from secretly watching Ünhold use it to trade for food and trinkets, and she suspects the mayor is planning something different than what he says. Fearing the city isn’t safe for Berg, she warns her giant friend to flee. When a secret plot is revealed to capture Berg, the young giant has to figure out where he can place his trust.

The story follows Berg on his journey and is told through text and graphic novel-style illustrations of beautiful dream sequences that reveal Berg’s hopes and memories. Berg’s mother appears to him in his dreams as a white bear, patient, nurturing and protective, and he sees himself as a little bear cub. Berg is often unsure what exactly the dreams mean, but sometimes they describe things which are about to happen or give him answers to problems he is facing.

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.
An orphaned giant named Berg is in search of just one person he can call friend.

When he was very young, Berg’s mother hid him in a cave and led an angry mob of villagers away, sacrificing her own...

Advance Praise

"A young giant finds both friendship and duplicity in The Legend of the Dream Giants, a beautiful 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


"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 beautiful illustrated novel by Dustin Hansen. Whimsical and poetic, the book’s descriptions of natural settings...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781629729862
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

An enjoyable fantasy with lots of imagination, creativity, and heart. Beautiful illustrations that help the reader envision the world alongside Dustin Hansen’s words. Sure to capture young readers’ attention.

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The Legend of the Dream Giants is a fantasy novel about a lonely young giant named Berg. The book follows Berg as he wanders from town to town and is chased away from each by frightened humans who mistake him for a different giant. One day Berg comes to a city he is allowed to stay in, but in return is manipulated by the unscrupulous mayor. The writing style is beautiful but may be too difficult for younger readers. The book also has lovely illustrations. I liked how it drops the reader right into the world without spending time establishing rules for the magic or explaining the fantasy elements as it makes the story more immersive. While Berg suffers a lot of hardship, I think this is ultimately a hopeful story. Overall this is a great option for anyone who enjoys middle grade fantasy.

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