What makes them unique and special

Interview with the author of David Mulholland

Otto: the not so little giant follows a boy who lives in a town of giants, but is much smaller than the rest of the giants and wishes he could be bigger. What was the inspiration for your story?

After years of working and performing for young children, I began to see how they begin to identify themselves by their “differences” and how that often makes them feel like they don’t fit in with their peers or the world at large. It can be anything from being “too short” or “too tall” or “too thin” or “too heavy” or having to wear glasses or find out their sexual orientation…mostly things they have no control over. This leaves them feeling “small” and with a sense of not belonging. I was inspired to remind little ones that those things that create these insecurities are actually what makes them unique and special and can be seen as strengths. And I wanted to tell it in a way that was fun and exciting and positive.

Otto starts out being picked on and has low self-esteem, but comes to appreciate their differences. What were some ideals that drove the development of your character?

When confronted with his insecurities, Otto is fortunate to have loving and supportive parents and a best friend, Lizzie, who sees no difference to him and celebrates each day with him. He is taught to never give up. That whatever he wants to accomplish is his for the taking. When he is faced with a real-life emergency and discovers that what makes him “different” is actually what will allow him to save his friend, he begins to realize his own worth and the value of him in his village. He is also famous for what he is capable of doing.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

That each child is unique and special and should be celebrated for who they are. Childhood for everyone comes with tests of our self-esteem and questions about where we fit in. I hope this story reminds little ones who question themselves that being true to oneself, finding the good around them and celebrating our differences will always make them a “giant”!

What is the next book you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently working on a sequel that will take Otto and Lizzie on a new adventure with a few lessons to learn along the way with the hope that it will be ready for publication in 2023.

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Everyone and everything in the town of Biggersville is giant-sized. After all, it is a town of Giants! Giant trees, giant houses, giant animals, and all the giant villagers. Everyone and everything except a seven-year-old boy named Little Otto. He looks like he has stopped growing. Even with wonderful, supportive parents like Big Otto and Gertie DeGrande and her best friend Lizzie, who is a year younger and twice as tall, Little Otto can’t help but feel like he’s too different to fit in. He can ride Gretchen the Giant Goose and swing on Bessie the Giant Cow’s tail and join Lizzie on all their great adventures together, but deep down, all he dreams of is to be just like everyone else. It’s no fun feeling “small.”

Until one day, when their best friend Lizzie disappeared after school and the whole town was looking for her, they turned to little Otto to save Lizzie, and he discovered that the thing that made him feel “different” all this time was exactly what would save him. the day and your best friend! And that loving and being true to who you are will always make you feel like a giant with yourself and others.

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