The Giants and the Joneses
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The Giants and the Joneses is a highly readable, lively and amusing modern take on 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. Its central characters are two girls, one of human size called Colette, and one a nine-year-old giantess called Jumbeelia. Both have a passion for collecting things. Colette collects stamps, marbles and snails, but Jumbeelia, when she finds her way down the beanstalk, goes one better and collects three iggly plops, or humans. Colette the collector is duly collected, along with her elder brother Stephen, her infant sister Poppy, and their lawn-mower. Up in Groil, the land of the giants, things are not too bad until Jumbeelia's bullying and repulsive brother, Zab, returns from boarding school, whereupon life turns for the iggly plops into a desperate fight for survival. Everything is naturally on a larger scale in Groil, including the unpleasant nature of older brothers, and one neat effect of the adventure is to bring out the best in Stephen and improve Colette's relations with him. The little Joneses' life in Groil is both funny and exciting, and their growing ingenuity and camaraderie are brought engagingly to life. The manner of their final escape is much more hi-tech than beanstalks. Straightforwardly told at vigorous pace with no dull moments, The Giants and the Joneses is a thoroughly entertaining story.