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Children's Nonfiction Pre-confederation (to 1867)

A Giant Man from a Tiny Town

A Story of Angus MacAskill

by (author) Tom Ryan

illustrated by Christopher Hoyt

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Pre-Confederation (to 1867), General, Emigration & Immigration, Performing Arts
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


When Angus MacAskill was still just a boy, he began to grow...and grow...and grow! Known far and wide as the Cape Breton Giant, Angus was loved by his neighbours as much for his beautiful singing voice as for his renowned strength. But as much as Angus loved his little town of St. Ann's, Cape Breton, he decided to leave and seek fortune and adventure.
With heartfelt text from critically acclaimed author Tom Ryan and meticulously researched and joyful illustrations from Christopher Hoyt (A is for Adventure), A Giant Man from a Tiny Town tells the story of a remarkable man who travelled the world performing for crowds, but never stopped longing to return to the place he loved the best: his Cape Breton home.

About the authors

Tom Ryan is the award-winning author of several acclaimed books for young readers. He has been nominated for multiple awards, including the White Pine Award, the Ann Connor Brimer Award and the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. His YA mystery Keep This to Yourself was the winner of the 2020 ITW Thriller Award for Best YA Thriller and the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best YA Crime Book. Two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections, and three of his young adult novels, Way to Go, Tag Along and Keep This to Yourself, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013, 2014 and 2020. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. Tom, his husband and their dog live in Nova Scotia.


Tom Ryan's profile page

Christopher Hoyt is an illustrator living and working in the Maritimes, where he finds himself ever fascinated with local folklore and history. His work can be found in museums across the country, as well as in dozens of book titles. He also illustrated the popular outdoor-themed book A is for Adventure. This is his second children's book.

Christopher Hoyt's profile page


  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Spring - Selection

Editorial Reviews

The simple yet poetic narrative has a nostalgic feel. In addition, the black middle-size font moves around the pages intertwining with illustrations that portray the story's heartwarming sentiments. Hoyt uses a soft palette of light blue, green, and brown with flashes of red to deliver the tone of the art that progresses harmoniously with the text. This picture book can be used as part of different primary grades' curricular units at school on individual differences and tolerance, 19th-century life in urban and rural towns, and interesting historical figures. This engaging and easy-to-follow title will charm primary grade readers.

School Library Journal

Tom Ryan playfully recounts the story of the Cape Breton Giant who stood 7 foot 9. He toured the world with P.T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb, and Queen Victoria declared him "the tallest, stoutest and strongest man to ever enter the palace." But he also returned to Cape Breton after seeing the world. Christopher Hoyt's gentle watercolour illustrations add depth and richness to MacAskill's story.

Globe & Mail

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