Goliath: The Boy Who Was Different

Little Gestalten/Die Gestalten Verlag/. Apr. 2019. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9783899558265.
K-Gr 3–Goliath, depicted as a large, red, hulking silhouette without other features, is a boy who has always known he was different. “I wanted to be like everyone else...even though I was much bigger.” The illustrations show the massive boy riding the bus to school and then outside, towering over the other children. He tries boxing, but no one wants to be his opponent because of his size. “Maybe the problem was this place? Because there was no one here who looked like me.” He heads out on a journey to find someone as big as him. His first stop is the ocean, thinking it might be able to tell him where to go, as “it was huge and covered most of the planet...” But it only tosses him around without providing any answers. Next he asks the sun—where he’s warmed by its rays but met with silence. Feeling small and even more lonely, he walks and walks until it grows dark. Finally it’s the moon who answers him: “Goliath, look at me. I am smaller than the sun, and I am bigger that the ocean, but it does not matter, because there is no one else like me. So, why does it matter to you if you are big or small?” Goliath thinks long and hard until the moon’s advice sets in. “There was no one like me! And I belonged here, exactly the way I was.” The distinct illustrations and choice of bold colors: mostly red, yellow, blue, and green, as well as the tall, narrow trim size and typeface make this book unique and special.
VERDICT  Spare text delivers a deeply moving, universal message of a desire to belong and fit in while embracing one’s differences. A recommended purchase for elementary school and public libraries

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