Agnes and the Giant, by Anne Adeney, illustrated Daniel Postgate (Franklin Watts, 2009, 31pp). Here's a great learning-to-read adventure from the UK, one of the Hopscotch series of books that tell the stories of Britain in easy reader form.
Sometimes it takes a brave and clever girl to stop a rampaging giant. Bolster is just such a giant, terrorizing the countryside of Cornwall, always on the lookout for a tasty child to eat for his supper. Knight after knight has tried to slay him, to no avail.
So little Agnes takes matters into her own hands.
"Where's Bolster, the cowardly giant?" she shouted. "I hear even a sheep is cleverer than him."
Bolster roared with rage.
"I can beat anyone and do anything!" (pp 16-17)
So Agnes challenges him to fill a small pool with his blood, and Bolster is sure it will be but the work of minutes. Little does he know that Agnes has tricked him! The pool is actually joined to the sea by a cleft in the rock cliffs, and Bolster grows weaker and weaker as his blood pours into the ocean...and at last, he tumbles off the side himself, leaving the rocks stained red.
And if you go to the Cornish town of St. Agnes, and walk along the seaside, you can still see those red rocks today.
It's a fun and interesting story for the kid who's just becoming an independent reader, and who wants a touch of fantastical gore to spice things up! It hasn't been published in the US yet, as far as I can see, but it's available here at a reasonable price.
Disclaimer: my copy of the book was sent to me by the author, who I am very proud to say is my sister-in-law!