Jack and the Beanstalk

( 72 )

Overview

Jack and his marvelous beanstalk made their first appearance in England in 1734—and for nearly three centuries the tale has continued to enchant children. After all, what could be more reassuring to a small child than the idea that even a little boy can outwit a scary giant?
John Cech retells this popular story with humor and warmth, adding plenty of entertaining detail and bringing in some less familiar elements, too. (For example, when Jack escapes for the last time, the ...
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Overview

Jack and his marvelous beanstalk made their first appearance in England in 1734—and for nearly three centuries the tale has continued to enchant children. After all, what could be more reassuring to a small child than the idea that even a little boy can outwit a scary giant?
John Cech retells this popular story with humor and warmth, adding plenty of entertaining detail and bringing in some less familiar elements, too. (For example, when Jack escapes for the last time, the giant’s wife comes along with him, and becomes his mother’s good friend.)  And Robert Mackenzie’s art captures all the magic of the huge beanstalk and the giant’s oversized world up in the clouds.
 
 
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  • Jack and the Beanstalk
    Jack and the Beanstalk  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Because the bones of this classic tale are right, Cech’s enhancements feel right, too."— School Library Journal
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3- Jack, an endearing boy with apple-red cheeks, sells his cow for a handful of beans and climbs the beanstalk. The giant's wife feeds him and hides him three times from her uncouth, ever-hungry husband ("Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell a visitor, yum, yum, yum./Fish or fowl, cold or hot, We'll cook him up inside my pot"), and forgives him for taking the giant's possessions. Because the bones of this classic tale are right, Cech's enhancements feel right, too. The unappreciated wife takes the harp and follows Jack down the beanstalk. The giant, who is afraid of heights, bellows loudly but stays put. Jack's mother, a compassionate woman who would rather have her boy than the treasures, welcomes the giant's wife as her friend. Any noises in the clouds can be blamed on the bellowing giant, forced to live on dry crackers since his wife left. Mackenzie's watercolor illustrations are done in a folk style using a green and gold palette with touches of red. The giant, with his very small head and bleary eyes, contrasts nicely with the rosy cheerfulness of Jack and his mother. Perspective is used to advantage, showing the beanstalk disappearing in the clouds and then the insubstantial base when seen from the top. Pair this retelling with Raymond Briggs's Jim and the Beanstalk (Putnam, 1977) for an enormously satisfying storytime.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN

Kirkus Reviews
It's Jack again, in a somewhat lackluster retelling that includes a twist at the end. The basic story is familiar: Jack's mom throws the beans out in the yard and a beanstalk grows overnight. The giant's wife hides Jack when he arrives at the castle, and she distracts the giant from his Fee fi fo fums. Jack slips away with the goose that lays the golden eggs and returns to steal the sack that makes gold coins. Finally-here's where the story deviates-he takes both the harp that makes gorgeous music and the giant's wife, who decides to join him. She becomes his mom's best friend and they all chop down the beanstalk and feed it to the cows. The occasional rumbling from the heavens is supposedly the upset giant. The illustrations feature exaggerated forms and a green, brown and gold palette, but do not distinguish this retelling, which fails to spark a real rhythm or much energy: more ho hum than fo fum. (author's note) (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402730641
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Classic Fairy Tale Collection Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 246,107
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

John Cech
John Cech writes plays, poetry, and fiction for both children and adults, and is a Professor of English at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is also the Director of the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture and has served as a judge for The New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year, as well as the Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards; was President of the Children’s Literature Association; and won the Chandler Award of Merit for his work in Children’s Literature.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 72 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Classic

    We bought this for the nook and it's a classic. The voices change with different people and it's great acting and even some music in the background. For the price this classic is excellent. Must buy for every little kid.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Ok if you're raising a wimp

    Come on folks, they changed the story here. In this story they don't say, "I smell the blood of an englishman" and "I'll grind his bones to make my bread" like in the real story. They also don't have Jack cut down the beanstalk causing the giant to fall to his death. They make the story wimpy by saying the giant is afraid of heights and won't climb down. These folks ruined a good fairytale. Probably written by sissies.

    7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2011

    Best Read-to-Me Book Yet

    I have purchased a few of the childen's books on the NOOK. This is the best to date due to the story, narration (using several narrators helps quite a bit) and the animation. Your son or daughter will really enjoy it.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    As an example of what a Read to Me should be this book excels

    The illustrations will remind those of us who are older of classic illustrations we saw. The narration is excellent, and I enjoyed the small differences in the story from the one I learned. Rather than have one narrator/reader attempt the various voices the decision to use multiples was an interesting change though not necessary to the story. My kids drown out the giant every time anyway. I love the Read to Me series that is developing here at B& N my only concern is that the written text is presented so small that the pinch technique must be used and then part of the illustrations disappears. I guess I'll have to wait until they are older to see if this will be a problem.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    Great book!

    My daughters (3 & 6) love this book! GREAT narration, lots of content, nice illustrations. I just wish there were more like it!

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Beautiful Illustrations

    I thought Robert MacKenzies Illustrations were really well done. I enjoyed the exagerrated shapes, combined with an older aesthetic reminiscent of the classic children's book illustrators like Arthur Rackham.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    Well done book

    This version was better than others I have read. The voices were very clear. It was fun to read. Thank you for making it a read to me book. Iwas very bored before i discovered this story.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended!

    I really like this book, my children ages 18,11, & 4 really love this book. It is definently a family favorite.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    Good!

    My granddaughter loves it!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2011

    A captivating classic!

    This time-honored tale is filled with twenty-four pages of characterful, vintage era artwork that will stimulate the imagination of all readers! Aside from it's "read to me" feature, this selection also yields to it's more mature readers the ability to enlarge text only by double tapping the paragraph. This rendition of one of England's most adored oral legends takes a bow in benediction with an unusual twist! My son (8yrs) is usually interested in authors like J.K. Rowling & Rick Riordan, but he loved this one! Excellent bed time story for any child!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2011

    Wonderful artwork!

    My four year old grand daughter LOVES this story and the audio story readers do a great job... good book for lazy grandpas'!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Changed a lot

    Many of the changes in this version are there to help it make more sense, but my kids' favorite part was always the 'Fee fi fo fum' bit, and that got completely watered down into something else nonviolent and I guess more PC, but we were disappointed.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    Awesome

    a great book

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Recommended!

    My six year old loves this book. The narrators do a good job and the illustrations are wonderful. This is a slightly different version than the one I remember, but very entertaining!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    fii fi fo fum

    i smell a visitor yum yum yum fish or foul cold or hot we'll cook him up inside my pot......

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    12563me

    I think it is really awosome . I am giving it a 4star thats how great i think it is.p.s make sure you check it out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Good

    I like it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    This book is

    I think this is good for kids and it really help then and the kid key word to improve the learning skills and their reading skill

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2012

    God old story

    I like music and illustrations

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2011

    Good price on a Read to Me book

    My 5 yo loves it!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews

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