There's considerable precedent for elaborating on Jacobs but little profit, especially when all you have to replace his vitality and elemental concision is an obtrusive rationalization (the old tale, told to Jack by a fairy, that the giant had originally robbed Jack's father--Johnson sentimentalizes it further) and a habit of reductive moralizing. (As the fairy summarizes, ""you showed an inquiring mind, great courage, and enterprise, you deserve to rise."") We'll stick with last year's Jack. . . in the Walck series, despite its unprepossessing appearance; Johnson's bolder brown-line prints add only a wooden look to the action and a mustache to Jack, who is more gratifyingly imagined as a younger hero.