When you write a review of a kid s book, there really should be a way to give it two different star ratings One for you, and one for the kids you ve read it to For me, this book might be a three star book Four if I was feeling generous I find it wordy and ponderous Overwrought The plot is pretty clunky and meh I don t hate the book or anything, it s just doesn t do much for me But my boy loves it He wants me to read it to him over and over again And again I think this might be slightly because my boy loves the movie The Iron Giant a lot But that can t be too much of the reason, as the book has only a glancing similarity to the movie The movie is A excellent, by the way One of my favorite movies ever. Read for book club 13 07 2013 Haven t you heard of the music of the spheres asked the dragon It s the music that space makes to itself All the spirits inside all the stars are singing I m a star spirit I sing too The music of the spheres is what makes space so peaceful I suppose the only way I could start this review would be by saying that approximately thirteen years ago a small, likely annoying girl of four s heart was torn apart by the ending scene of Brad Bird s The Iron Giant. Never before has the phrase You are who you choose to be and the robotic Superman evoked such a pitiful flurry of tears in that of a hard faced infant who, as I m rightfully reminded of by my Dad, refused to see another film for months afterwards due to the sheer trauma and, ironically, missed the concluding scene because she was too upset to continue watching it Seeing as though The Iron Giant is quite possibly one of my favourite films in the whole world, it was to be expected that I d experience some powerful waves of nostalgia as I sifted through Hughes work I wasn t wrong If I ve learnt anything about these things, it s that learning the origins of something so emotionally embalmed in one s life can be either disastrous or wonderful, and I m pleased to say it was the latter that I felt about The Iron Man as a whole Charmingly illustrated, beautifully told and captivating in its own way, I loved every page It shares the delicacy conveyed in the beginning scene, when we find the Iron Giant about to topple down the cliff into the sea, wrapped in the silence of the world I never gave Hughes much of a chance given his relation to another writer who I m positive other GR users will no doubt agree I m very fond of, but I m thoroughly enthused to readof his work after finishing this I was toying with giving this a five star rating but declined merely because it wasn t blown away territory and I m generally quite picky about awarding a book the full amount of stars Still, it misses only by an inch, as it really is lovely A rusty fairy tale of sorts remarkable in vision, gorgeous in words A new favourite.Also everyone go see the movie Go, go, go Probably best known for the 1999 animated movie The Iron Giant, this enjoyable children s book is a quick fun read.Fans of Brad Bird s movie might be slightly disappointed that the original story is so different, but the basics are still very much in place.I personally think shorter stories make for better adaptations as there s plenty of scope to expand a great story.Offered the choice I would likely re watch the film again, but I could see this being a firm favourite amongst children. The Iron Giant is one of our favorite movies, and I remembered from the special features about it that it was inspired by a book by Ted Hughes For some reason I hadn t ever sought that book out, but in the library the other day we happened to notice this copy of it on the shelf, and I grabbed it immediately.It s clear where Brad Bird got some of the basic ideas for the film version, but the book and film are different enough that they can be regarded as independent entities As I read the book, I wasn t distracted by thinking only about the movie.The book has the slow, unusual pace that often appeals to me in children s literature It s meandering, thoughtful, and unexpected Its conclusion is surprisingly poignant and beautiful.This edition is illustrated by Laura Carlin, and I love the varied illustrations that interact with the text, and the construction of the book itself, that features some cut outs and some larger, fold out spreads I particularly enjoyed the two page spread on pages 72 73, showing the disassembled pieces of the Iron Giant, en route to Australia for the final confrontation with the space bat angel dragon I told you it s different from the movie This is a really wonderful book to just sit with and savor I wish we d discovered it much earlier. Pa So you finished your first big book How are you feeling Milo Proud of myself.Pa You should be I m proud of you too.Milo Thanks, Pa.Pa Sure, so did you what did you think of it Milo There was a great author.Pa Who s that Milo Ted Hughes.Pa Why s he so great Milo Because I liked the space bat angel dragon.Pa The what Milo The space bat angel dragon is what I said, Monsieur.Pa I thought it was the Iron Giant.Milo And the Iron Giant.Pa So what did the space bat angel dragon there for What did it do Milo It was supposed to be the Iron Giant s challenge.Pa Like his nemesis Milo Yeah.Pa So it was kind of King Kong vs Godzilla, sort of.Milo Yeah, sort of It waslike the Iron Giant was King Kong, but like I said he isn t that big, and the space bat angel dragon is huge compared to the Iron Giant.Pa Umm, so did the Iron Giant beat the dragon Milo Yeah, only the dragon s job was just to fly around the world all night, every night, singing, cause all it could do up there was fly and sing Pa Was the dragon actually the moon Milo No Pa No It was a dragon.Milo No It was a dragon.Pa That s kooky.Milo It waslike a bat an angel and a dragon that s why it s called the space bat angel dragon But anyway, I liked it It was amazing Yeah.Pa So what about Hogarth, from the movie, was he different Milo Yeah, a lot different When we first see him in the movie he s riding his bike to where his mother is working, but in the book he is fishing and he keeps missing the fish in the book, but he hits a rock so he goes home Pa And how does he bump into the Iron Giant Milo He sees him on his way home, coming out of the water, then he goes and tells his parents.Pa So are they friends, like in the movie.Milo Yeah, but unlike the movie, everyone loves the Iron Giant as soon as the space bat angel dragon falls down Pa So the space bat angel dragon is the bad guy rather than the US Army Milo Yeah There is no US Army No police Only farmers It s really only tyhe space guy They super changed it in the movie.Pa So which did you like better The movie or the book Milo The book.Pa Very cool What are you reading next Milo I will read My Dead Girlfriend.Pa Good choice.Milo Then I will win James and the Giant Peach, then I will read the Tiger book a.k.a The Essential Calvin and Hobbes.Pa Well, congratulations on your big finish.Milo Thank you.Pa You are welcome Milo And Ted Hughes, this is a great book Pa I am sure Sylvia Plath will be glad to hear it Milo Who s that Pa Ted s dead girlfriend.Milo Oh, I see Thanks, Pa.Pa You I love.Milo You me too. The book was as liquid as its animated movie Kinda reminded me of Bridge to Terabithia Though the two couldn t befurther apart.The book was a little different from the movie, by little I mean completely But what a message at the end, wow What a message So amazing Alas if only Funny thing It was corrupted by them and yet it ended up curing them all.Oh yeah, if Only Sigh But humanity Sigh I d give this one ten stars rating. I was thrilled when I got this copy of The Iron Man from my husband I ve always loved the movie The Iron Giant, and have it almost memorized in its entirety I never knew that it was based on a book, nor that it was a book written by Ted Hughes I shamefully admit that this was my first Ted Hughes book, and although I enjoyed it, it was close to nothing like the movie That put me off for many reasons, but the biggest being that I was reading it with the movie playing in my head, which was probably my mistake The Iron Man wasof a victim turned hero in this book than he was made to be in the movie, and the fighting scene at the end against the big black dragon from space was insanely brilliant I thoroughly enjoyed it and the cleverness behind it.I would recommend to all who decide to read this book and have watched the film adaptation beforehand to think of it as completely independent from the movie Otherwise, you will find yourself disappointed, as did I. The Iron Man by Ted HughesThe Iron Man A Children s Story In Five nights by Ted Hughes does indeed consist of five chapters designed to be read a chapter per day, although some children may find it difficult to wait a whole day to hearof this exciting story.Set in a rural town, a town where a small boy called Hogarth goes fishing in the local stream only to come across an Iron Man He forms a relationship with the Iron Man and he must save him from the adults The fact that when he does tell the grown ups that they believe him and are unsure what to do really makes this story thrilling for children as they realise they are on an even footing with the adults It is Hogarth that helps when the adults wants to trap it and when the Earth is in it s hour of need prey to an enormous bat angel creature from space that threatens to devour every living thing on the planet, it is again Hogarth, the child, that sees the only one that can help is the Iron Man Children love this book as it has adventure, mystery and explores different relationships.I think it is an excellent book to use as a stimulus in science or to create cross curricular links when reading it in literacy.You can look at the properties of different materials What might have happened if the Iron Man was made of wood, plastic, fabric or jelly Plan an experiment to test the strength of different materials A lot of silhouette illustrations are used in the book so you can cross over with light and shadows in science and get the children to make their own shadow robot puppets For ICT you could make a stop motion animation based on the story The book is also an excellent basis for looking at harmony within the world and how peace is created The Iron Man wants to bring peace to the world and so possibly in Year 6, you can look at what war does and how to create peace in the world It could be the basis in a debate possibly for PHSE or even a philosophy lesson where the answer may not be possible to find. Mankind Must Put A Stop To The Dreadful Destruction Caused By The Iron Man A Trap Is Set For Him, But He Cannot Be Kept Down Then, When A Terrible Monster From Outer Space Threatens To Lay Waste To The Planet, It Is The Iron Man Who Finds A Way To Save The World I suspect few come to this book without having first seen the film adaptation called The Iron Giant, the 1999 Warner Brothers animation directed by Brad Bird and co written by him.The film is a masterpiece and is also one of my favourite films, to watch again and again whenever it comes on The book is wonderful but perhaps not a masterpiece Let us deal first with the book, because I think it is necessary and pleasurable to return to the film.The charm of the book stems from the central idea of the impact caused by the arrival on Earth of a giant mechanical man He can deconstruct then reconstruct himself by way of his component parts being handily equipped with homing devices so that they can link up with each other Simply, the metal man falls down a cliff into the sea, the local famers relax until he returns and starts eating their tractors, so they build a big pit to trap him When the giant falls in they fill it with earth Before too long the metal man resurfaces, and is befriended by a small boy called Hogarth, who comes up with the idea of accommodating the visitor s special needs by putting him in a scrap metal yard When a space dragon comes to Earth Australia, wouldn t you know it , the iron man devises a challenge to outwit the monster and turn him from foe to the beneficiary of all the peoples of the Earth The story is in five parts Or to give the story its proper subtitle A Children s Story in Five Nights This is the other important element of the charm of The Iron Man The story reads like it is being told to wide eyed children, sitting enthralled A child as we know does not always require complete logic and the story of a big metal man from space is a gripping one So is his developing friendship with Hogarth The whole dragon sequence is, of course, fantastic in the literal sense but also, very appealing to small children While remaining true to the spirit of the book, the animated film The Iron Giant improves the story by giving it a better narrative arc and locating the tale very specifically in a 1950s cold war environment, when the organs of authority government, security agencies, the army were perhapsrespected than they are now, certainly powerful, but nevertheless susceptible to paranoia and suspicion A big metal machine is just the thing to disturb their shaky equilibrium The threat to the iron giant does not come externally but arises from the paranoia of the time where does the creature come from Is it made by the Russians The Chinese It represents an unknown danger it must be destroyed This is in stark contrast to Hogarth s thinking and those close to him Hogarth understands the nature of the giant and that he is friendly their relationship is wonderful, witness doing water bombs into the forest pool In the film Hogarth, has a single mother and he is befriended by the beatnik sculptor who runs the scrap yard, both uncomfortable types in the 1950s The sculptor in particular with his art, coffee and penchant for jazz represents a disturbing anti establishment perspective The soundtrack is superb too In this way the story remains integrated and coherent, while maintaining faith with the source material the ultimate threat comes from the sky, but this time is of their own making Read the book and see the film To provide some context, current favourites include Pleasantville, Blast from the Past, Cars and Ben Stiller s remake ofThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty.