JACK AND THE BEANSTALK by Michael Hague

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nesbit’s wry 1908 telling casts Jack as a dreamy lad more adept at composing poems about “the Dignity of Labor” than engaging in it. She enlivens the familiar plot with chatty speculation, nimble description and a tidy resolution. The giant’s realm is a desolate landscape of withered trees and streams gone dry. A fairy defines Jack’s quest, revealing that Jack’s unknown father, ruler of that very land, had been killed by the giant, who imprisoned his subjects in the trees. The fairy confirms that Jack’s mission is “the one particular dream” that he heretofore “never could quite dream.” Jack’s thievery of the golden egg-laying hen, money bags and magic harp, laid out as a righteous corrective to the giant’s usurpation, is ably facilitated by the giant’s wife, “whose only fault was that she was too ready to trust boys.” Tavares’s handsome pencil-and-watercolor pictures deliver a satisfyingly scary giant, his shirt bloodstained, his comb-over topped with the stolen, too-small crown, his house strewn with the skulls of victims. No source notes, but thoroughly satisfying nonetheless. (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-2124-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2006




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