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Children's Fiction General

Alex vs. the Four-Headed Gargantuan

by (author) Laura Peetoom

illustrated by Kevin Frank

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2015
General, Money, Imagination & Play, Humorous Stories
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
Recommended Reading age
7 to 9
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Alex gets a paper route, dreaming of the money he will make and how he will spend it. But it's more work than he bargained for. Not only does he have to figure out how much money he gets to keep, but he also has to face dangers like the savage Yapper Snapper and the dreaded Four-Headed Gargantuan.

Illustrated comic-book-style with the adventures of Alex's superhero alter ego, this book shows how Alex learns that his real riches are courage and kindness.

About the authors

LAURA PEETOOM has written about mermaids, maps, and many other subjects. In addition to being the author of several books for children and young adults, Laura has worked extensively as an editor. She lives in Markham, Ontario.

Laura Peetoom's profile page

KEVIN FRANK is an internationally syndicated, award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. He lives in Lindsay, Ontario.

Kevin Frank's profile page


  • Winner, Resource Links The Year's Best - Fiction Grades 3-6

Editorial Reviews

"Alex is a stubborn little kid who faces his fears (with the help of his imagination) and doesn't immediately run tattling when he thinks something is going wrong. He's willing to try to deal with things himself, first, and you've got to respect that."

Netgalley Reviewer

"My favorite thing about this book is that Alex is not bullied-- he is just worried that the teenagers are going to bully him. This is brilliant, since children's perceptions of the world are often more horrible than the realities they face.
While the drawing of the "gargantuan" is a bit odd, I liked the other illustrations. The text is simple enough for struggling or emergent readers, and the story a solid one filled with supportive parents and neighbors, new experiences, and a bit of fun along the way."

Ms. Yingling Reads - Blog

"It's all about learning lessons as he grows up, like helping people without expectation of reward."

Netgalley Reviewer

"This book struck me as having a number of appealing strengths. It is a chapter book, with direct but fairly sophisticated vocabulary and structure. But, there are humorous comic book style drawings that break up the narrative every few pages... In addition to that, our Alex is a normal and really decent kid... Adults are reliable, available, supportive and decent. This book has one of the best sets of parents I've read in a while, and they ring true in an idealized but not unrealistic fashion... this turned out to be an entertaining, instructive, upbeat and amusing tale."

Netgalley Reviewer

"Alex vs. the Four-Headed Gargantuan will be a good read for boys. While the majority of the book is written in text, a few graphic style chapters add interest and fun. The likable main character, Alex, has spunk and charm while being a typical kid."

Netgalley Reviewer

"Alex vs. The Four-Headed Gargantuan would be enjoyed by readers of realistic fiction that deals with the theme of friendship ... This book would be an excellent choice for school, public and personal libraries. Highly Recommended."

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

"His round, even if it is only 28 houses, teaches him a lot of life skills, including organisation, saving money and how to handle a bunch of teenage bullies. The book is written in an easy style... that will hook kids immediately and keep them interested all the way through. A Fantastic book that is more than just a fun read, it's educational too."

Netgalley Reviewer

"Laura Peetoom's children's novel is a delightful read. The comic book illustrations are cleverly woven into the fabric of Alex vs. The Four-Headed Gargantuan… All readers including the reluctant reader will enjoy this quick read."

Netgalley Reviewer

"Engaging, poignant and captivating. The book hooked me up from the beginning till the last page. I loved it and would recommend it to every young reader."

Netgalley Reviewer

"And it's quite an interesting book. There are lots of good lessons in here - about spending money, about how money works, about helping people, about the environment, about being scared. And I don't feel like the messages hit you over the head."

Netgalley Reviewer

"I loved this little book! It has so much going for it."

Netgalley Reviewer

"It has really nice themes of problem solving (with and without parental support) and taking responsibility. A really nice story that kids will like a lot."

Netgalley Reviewer

"Its length combined with the illustrations will make it very popular with reluctant readers, too. The lessons Alex learns about earning and saving money, and about making assumptions would be good talking points for a class discussion."

Netgalley Reviewer

"I recommend this book to early readers, reluctant readers and others who are trying to think of how to earn some extra money. All readers including the reluctant reader will enjoy this quick read."

Netgalley Reviewer

"This book teaches the reader about taking on responsibility and how sacrifice can earn you rewards, both monetarily and emotionally? Overall an entertaining book that has many good curricular applications for teaching kids about growing up. The comic strip style illustrations serve to entertain the reader and keep those with lower reading levels engaged. Excellent."

Resource Links

Other titles by Laura Peetoom

Other titles by Kevin Frank

Related lists