The Giant of Seville

Author & Illustrator:  Dan Andreasen

We end our series of Tall Tales with The Giant of Seville by Dan Andreasen.


Nothing exciting ever happens in the sleepy town of Seville, Ohio—until the day Captain Martin Van Buren Bates arrives. Standing seven feet and eleven and a half inches, Captain Bates is a giant who has toured around the world in the circus.  In search of a quiet home for himself and his wife, (who is also a giant!) Captain Bates decides to get off the train in Seville, although he fears he will be too big for the little town.  But Seville is full of surprises, and the giant is about to learn that the only thing that matters is the size of one’s heart.

This “tall” tale based on the true story of a real-life circus giant, The Giant of Seville is a heartwarming story of friendship and acceptance that will resonate with children. The book includes an author’s note and an archival photograph of Captain Martin Van Buren Bates and his wife, Anna Bates, Seville’s most famous residents.    BookList Review

Read more about the life of Anna Bates.

Critical thinking questions based on Blooms:

1.   Why do you think it took so long to get the steamer trunk off the train?  Vocabulary word: massive
2.  What did Captain Bates mean when he sent a telegram to his wife saying that he had found a town where “the people were small but their hearts were giant”?
3.  Name something that you could do for someone this month to show that you live life with a giant heart.