Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart Book Poster Image
A giant saves the day in muy magical story.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Doña Flor is kind to plants, animals, and people. Some kids tease her, but not much is made of this.

Violence & Scariness

People in the town are frightened of a loud-growling mountain lion.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is nothing objectionable in this book. Doña Flor is a kindly giant, kind to people, animals, and plants. The townspeople are frightened by a loud mountain lion growl, but Doña Flor resolves the situation without violence or conflict.

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What's the story?

Doña Flor is a giant who carries kids to school, makes tortillas each morning for the village to eat (and use as roofs or rafts), and lets birds nest in her hair.
\ When her animal and people friends are frightened by what sounds like a giant mountain lion circling the village, Doña Flor goes to investigate.

Is it any good?

Illustrator Raul Colon won the American Library Association's prize for best children's book celebrating Latino culture; certainly his pictures will captivate kids -- as will the magical story. Large, soft, dreamlike drawings show the giant Doña Flor sleeping among pillowy clouds and kids floating on the pond using huge tortillas she makes each morning. Sometimes Doña Flor doesn't even fit inside the page's frame.

The story has wonderful images of its own: Doña Flor using stars to add shine to her homemade adobe, the giant reading stories to kids and animals while they "climbed all over her soft body." All in all, a charming story that may inspire kids to write -- and draw -- some imaginative stories of their own.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about other tall tales -- or come up with some of their own. The book uses some Spanish words and phrases, and parents may want to talk about what those words mean and figure out ways to use them in their day-to-day lives.

Book details

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