The Selfish Giant

In this charming tale, Wilde describes a vivacious garden filled with beautiful flowers, trees and wildlife as well as smiling children at play. This garden belongs to a Giant who has been away for seven years and during this time the garden has become an imaginative safe-haven for the children after-school. However, as soon as the Giant returns, he kicks out all of the children and builds a wall around the garden. Soon after, the Garden becomes plagued by an eternal winter, only to be transformed to Spring again by the children who sneak into the garden. It takes one small boy to melt the cold heart of this Selfish Giant and make the garden a paradise not only for the Giant but also for the children once again.

The Selfish Giant
Review by Grace Duddy:
This heart-warming fairy tale illustrates the importance of sharing one's resources and helping those less fortunate. While this moral of the story is clear, this moral may not be as clearly translatable into the lives of the children reading the story because children may associate themselves more with the children in the story than the selfish giant. Thus, it would be good when reading the story to children, to push both the role of the child and the role of the giant in the story, engaging the children in how they see themselves in either character.

Other Resources and Reviews:
-Summary of the Book and 3 Reviews Google Books

-A 4 Week Study Course Stewardship Help from the Selfish Giant


Oscar Wilde, a (1845-1900) well known British playwright. As retold by Fiona Waters and illustrated by Fabian Negrin.

Author information was updated as of the article's post date. Author profiles may not reflect author's current employment or location.

Image credit: © Ignacio García Losa ( via Flickr. Used by permission.

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