Greta and the Giants: Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Stand the Save the World

Illustrated by Zoe Persico

Greta and the Giants: Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Stand the Save the World, Climate Lit

“And no one told them to stop because everyone was scared of them”

In this fairy tale retelling of Greta Thunberg’s story of strike for climate, Greta is presented a little girl who lived at the heart of a beautiful forest. She’s friends with the animals and it’s the animals that tell Greta that the forest is getting “broken”. The destruction is caused by the “greedy” Giants, whose activities (see, the Anthropocene, producerism and human expansionism) have grown so intense that there’s hardly any forest left. Unable to be heard by the Giants, Greta stands in their path with a sign “Stop.” She’s joined by other children and animals (see school strike for climate). When the crowd gets huge, the Giants take notice. Embarrassed, they promise to slow down. Before long the forest is back, “more beautiful than anything they could ever have imagined” (see ecological civilization, fantastic solutionism). The book ends with a biographical note about Greta and a call to action with specific steps young readers can take to help Greta’s fight for the planet.

Richly illustrated in fall-color pastels, this hopeful, activism-oriented book communicates the message of “No one is too small to make a difference.” The abstract notions of the Anthropocene and climate change are presented as concrete processes: the destruction and restoration of the forest. Children’s kinship with animals and nature is shown as personally rewarding and children’s climate activism is showcased as a necessary wake-up call, since the adults (Giants) are too preoccupied with their “work” (the Anthropocene) to notice the slow violence it brings. Climate change can be stopped. If only the Giants choose to slow down (see degrowth).

©2021 ClimateLit (Marek Oziewicz)

For other biographies of Greta Thunberg see:

  • Valentina Camerini’s Greta’s Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went on Strike to Save the Planet (2019)
  • Devika Jina and Petra Braun’s The Extraordinary Life of Greta Thunberg (2020)
  • Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Anke Weckmann’s Little People, Big Dreams: Greta Thunberg (2020)
  • Jeanette Winter’s, Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet (2019)

Teaching Resources:

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2019

Pages: 32

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5377-3

Audience: Little People (4-7), Questers (8-13)

Format: Picturebooks

Topics: Activism, Anthropocene, Climate Change, Degrowth, Ecological Civilization, Ecological Restoration, Environmental Destruction, Fantastic Solutionism, Forests, Greta Thunberg, Hope, Human Expansionism, Kinship Care, Kinship with Animals, Producerism, School Strike for Climate, Slow Violence, Youth Climate Activism