JACK AND THE BEANSTALK by Ann Keay Beneduce

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

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Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

If beanstalks are wondrous, Spirin proves it so, painting golden-lit panels with da Vinci-esque dark undertones. The watercolor and tempera paintings are paired with pages of text that tell the classic story of Jack and the Giant-Killer, based on an 1881 version in Horace Scudder’s The Children’s Book. Set in Tudor England, the variant tells of a fairy who appears, encouraging Jack to avenge the death of his father, killed by an evil giant. When Jack is cheated of his cow by a farmer, it is the fairy who transforms his lowly beans into a giant beanstalk. While no hairs are plucked from the giant’s beard, Jack gains, in each of his three adventures up the beanstalk, bags of gold, a hen that lays golden eggs, and a magic harp. He succeeds in chopping down the beanstalk, sending the giant crashing to his doom, although no mention is made of the fates of the giant’s wife and his child captives. Ornate borders with the appearance of fine brocades frame the text, while the giant is cast as a plump, toothy Cyrano, with mushroomy knees and toes as pudgy as bean pods, more roly-poly than frightening. Spirin may not surprise, but he certainly does delight. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23118-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999




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