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FEARLESS JACK by Paul Brett Johnson


adapted by Paul Brett Johnson & illustrated by Paul Brett Johnson

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: June 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-83296-6
Publisher: McElderry

In a whimsical retelling of “The Brave Little Tailor,” young Jack paints “FEARLESS JACK KILLED TEN AT A WHACK” on his cap after doing for the yellowjackets feasting on his sorghum sandwich, then sets out to make his fortune. That fortune’s not long in coming; cautiously offering to help a town beset by “varmints,” Jack is attacked by, in turn, a “fee-rocious” wild boar, a humongous grizzly bear—and a foul-tempered, horribly bad-breathed, unicorn. Johnson (Bearhide and Crow, 2000, etc.) gives his tale a freely-drawn Appalachian setting, dressing his woolly-haired hero in rumpled country clothing and sending him scrambling from each encounter, sometimes no more than “a frog’s hair” away from disaster. Thanks as much to luck as quick feet, Jack traps the varmints, and hasn’t even pocketed the thousand dollars with which a grateful local sheriff has rewarded him when he hears tell of “that settlement of giants on t’other side of the mountain.” Readers who haven’t met Jack already will be pleased to make his acquaintance; those who are already fans will have new cause to admire his pluck and common sense. (foreword) (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)