The Giant Under The Snow
First edition cover (Puffin reprint 1971)
Harper & Row(US)
eBook (EPUB DRM)
|Followed by||Ride The Wind|
The Giant Under The Snow is a children's fantasy adventure novel by John Gordon. First published in 1968 the story tells the tale of three school friends who discover an ancient treasure and become embroiled in the final act of an epic battle of good against evil. It is John Gordon's début novel and has been published in at least four languages.
On a school field trip Jonk Winters, an independent-minded teenage girl, is attacked by a large black dog whilst exploring the nearby woods where she has found a mysterious and rather old buckle. She is rescued from the dog by a woman named Elizabeth Goodenough, who possesses magical powers. After she goes home, Jonk is stalked by the dog and its curious stone-faced master. Jonk's friend, Bill has read of a local legend that describes how a Green Man once strode across the countryside from Wiltshire to East Anglia. Believing the legend is the key to understanding Jonk's experience in the woods, Jonk, Bill and their rather sceptical friend Arf set out to solve the riddle of the Green Man. It soon becomes apparent that the stone-faced man is an ancient warlord who needs the golden buckle to regain his malevolent power. The buckle is the key to victory and the trio soon find themselves under attack from the minions of the warlord, the terrifying 'leather men', and are relentlessly followed by the black dog. However, cleverly guided by Elizabeth and aided by the gift of flight, Jonk and her friends determine to defeat the warlord and his sinister allies at any cost.
In 1989 a little-known sequel to The Giant Under The Snow was released called 'Ride The Wind'. It was first published in Great Britain in 1989 by The Bodley Head Ltd, by Mackays of Chatham PLC, with a price tag of £7.95. The golden treasure Jonk and Bill discovered in the first book is once more under threat, and it is the Leather Men who are after it. Jonk and Bill ride the wind once more to where the Warlord waits. The book was dedicated to Margaret Clark.
2006 Revised Edition
Due to the book's popularity Orion Children's Books decided to republish The Giant Under The Snow in April 2006. The revised edition had a new cover design by fantasy artist Geoff Taylor and new chapter head illustrations by Gary Blythe. Since 1968 the original story has remained fairly timeless however it was deemed necessary for the author to make some minor updates to the language (e.g. changing 'gym shoes' to 'trainers'). John Gordon also took the opportunity to clarify the origin of the Green Man in relevant chapters.