The Giants and the Joneses by Julia Donaldson Illustrations by Paul Hess Every giant knows beanstalks and little persons don't exist. Almost every giant, anyway ...When girl giant Jumbeelia's curiosity leads her to a real-‐live bimplestonk (beanstalk) at the edgeland of Groil and down, down, down into Colette, Stephen and Poppy's lives, the children find themselves in BIG trouble! How will the three iggly plops (children) ever get home? In this extract Jumbeelia has just scooped the children up and put them into her collecting bag…. …‘Where are we?’ Stephen's voice sounded shaky and his face was white. Colette looked round at the blue canvas walls of their prison. She shuddered, remembering the fat pink tentacles that had put her there. ‘I think we’re in a giant’s bag,’ she whispered back. ‘Don’t talk rubbish – giants don’t exist.’ But the next second they heard a deafening voice. ‘Beely iggly plop,’ it said, and the tentacles appeared above them, with Poppy in their grip. Poppy was laughing. ‘Big girl do it ‘gain,’ she said as the giant hand released her. She seemed to think this was some kind of glorious fairground ride. ‘It’s not a girl, it’s a giant, silly,’ Stephen snapped at her. ‘It’s probably going to eat us.’ But Poppy just repeated, ‘Big girl,’ and started bouncing on the cushions which covered the floor of the bag. And then the canvas ceiling came down. ‘All dark,’ complained Poppy. Colette felt sick with fear but she managed to find her voice, and shouted, ‘Stop! Let us out! Let us out!’ ‘It can’t understand you. Didn’t you hear it? It speaks a different language.’ Stephen sounded angry, as if the whole thing was her fault. A tremendous jolt threw them up into the air and down again. As the three of them rolled helplessly about on the cushions, Poppy giggled again. But Colette and Stephen were silent. They both knew what was happening. The giant was on the move.
‘Mum! Dad! Help!’ yelled Colette, but without much hope. A sudden swoop and a bump and the jolting stopped. Their dark ceiling was off again, and light streamed in. ‘Maybe it’s going to put us back?’ said Colette. ‘Maybe it’s hungry,’ said Stephen. The hand came down – but not to take them out. ‘It’s putting something in,’ said Colette. ‘Peggy line!’ said Poppy. ‘Iggly swisheroo!’ said the voice. ‘Can’t anyone round here speak English?’ said Stephen. ‘It’s a washing line.’ And so it was – quite a long one, complete with pegged-‐out clothes, towels and sheets. A sheet landed on top of Colette and but the time she had struggled free the bag was dark and the bumpy journey had begun again. Poppy, delighted with this new and grown-‐up toy, started unpegging the clothes and hoarding the pegs in a corner of the bag. ‘Oh no, not you too,’ said Stephen in disgust. ‘Isn’t one collector in this family enough?’ Colette turned on him. ‘Do shut up,’ she said. ‘Can’t you ever stop complaining?’ ‘Yes,’ said Stephen triumphantly. ‘I’ll stop complaining when you stop collecting.’ Colette could hardly believe this. Here they were, jogging along in the dark, inside a giant’s bag, and yet they were still squabbling. Before she could think of a cutting retort, there was a terrifyingly loud noise in her right ear – a long, low grating kind of noise which seemed to come from within the bag itself. Colette found herself clutching Stephen despite the quarrel. ‘What was that?’ she said. ‘Baa Lamb,’ said Poppy. ‘This isn’t the time of year for lambs,’ Stephen said in his Mr Know-‐All voice. ‘Anyway, its bleat is too low-‐sounding. It’s a sheep.’ As if in agreement the low bleating sound was repeated. It was just behind one of the canvas walls. ‘Big girl got Baa Lamb,’ said Poppy stubbornly. ‘Big girl got great enormous sheep, you mean,’ said Stephen. ‘Probably for supper. Or maybe we’re supper and the sheep is breakfast.’ Poppy started to cry then. Colette put an arm round her. ‘Well done, Stephen,’ she said. ‘ I’m sorry. I’m sorry Poppy,’ said Stephen, who hardly ever apologised. Colette noticed that his voice was shaking again. ‘I just wish I could get us out of here…I know! Give me one of those clothes pegs, Poppy.’ Poppy sniffed and handed him one. Stephen started picking away with it at a corner of the bag as they jolted along. ‘ What are you doing?’ asked Colette. ‘I can feel a little hole here, where the stitching has come loose. If I can make it bigger maybe we can escape.’ ‘ But we’d get killed jumping.’
'She might put the bag down again,’ said Stephen, still hacking away. ‘There – it’s big enough to look through, at least.’ He lay on his tummy and put his eye to the hole. ‘Oh no,’ he said. ‘ What is it?’ asked Colette. ‘ You’d better have a look.’ So Colette looked through the hole and was overcome with dizziness and fear. ‘ Is it what I think it is?’ she said. ‘Yes. We’re going up a beanstalk.’ The Giants and the Joneses Text Copyright ©Julia Donaldson 2004 Illustrations Copyright © Paul Hess 2004 ISBN 14052 0760 4 First published in Great Britain 2004 by Egmont books Ltd, 239 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6SA
Most giants don\'t believe in iggly plops and, down on earth, humans don\'t believe in giants either. But a real girl giant is on her way d...