Mark Fearing is the author of a graphic novel I love and reviewed in 2012, Earthling!. I also ordered three copies for the shelves of my school library a few years ago and it's always checked out (and adored) by my students. As much as I love Earthling!, I was a little unsure of Giant Pants when I read it to myself at home. Reading it out loud to a class of kids changed my first impression completely! Fearing takes a kind of silly giant with a temper (and a habit for misplacing things) and sets him in the middle of a magical kingdom filled with all the fairy tale creatures kids (and me) know and love.
Belbum (great name, right?) is a giant. When he loses his ONLY pair of pants, he is in quite a spot. The last thing he wants to do is go into town in his underpants to ask the tailor to sew him a new pair of pants.
Belbum decides to borrow pants from one of his friends. While equal in size, Polyphemus the cyclops only has a toga to offer and Belbum needs pants. Old Grint the gnome can't help either. Lucy the unicorn suggest going pantless, like she does, and also asks if he checked his dresser, which only infuriates Belbum even more.
Finally, Belbum swallows his pride and heads into town and has four pairs of pants made, leaving one with each of his friends and returning home with a single pair. Opening the the drawer to put the new pants away, Belbum makes a surprising discovery...
My students LOVED Fearing's brightly colorful illustrations, each of which is packed with details and humor. The pace of Giant Pants is perfect for read-out-loud and presents a wonderful moment for making predictions, something I love to do with my students when reading out loud. And, of course, there is Belbum in his polka-dotted boxers on every page. In my experience, underpants humor never gets old in a picture book.
Source: Review Copy