Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

3.6 72
by John Cech, Robert Mackenzie
     
 

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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

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.


Editorial Reviews

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)
From the Publisher
Praise for Jack and the Beanstalk:   "Because the bones of this classic tale are right, Cech's enhancements feel right, too. . . . 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." —School Library Journal   " . . . knits fresh strands into the Jack-and-the-beanstalk story. This smoothly paced version, which begins with some humorous wordplay, runs close to traditional tellings until the end . . .  Mackenzie ably ramps up the drama in the pencil-and-paint scenes of apple-cheeked Jack eluding the bulbous-nosed, ham-handed giant. The extensive final note, connecting the story’s motifs to archetypal tales throughout history, adds another reason for purchase, even in libraries where multiple versions of the story exist." —Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402785030
Publisher:
Sterling
Publication date:
03/10/2011
Series:
Classic Fairy Tale Collection
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
983,647
File size:
51 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

John Cech is a professor of English at the University of Florida where he is the Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture. He was the creator, producer, and host of the daily public radio program “Recess!” about the cultures of childhood. He has served as the President of the Children's Literature Association and received the Anne Devereaux Jordan Award for his contributions to children's literature. John has written seven books in the Classic Fairy Tale Collection for Sterling, in addition to retellings of Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Martin Jarrie, and The Nutcracker, illustrated by Eric Puybaret. John lives in Gainesville, FL, with his wife, Eve. Robert Mackenzie graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in illustration and animation. He has worked as a concept and visual development artist at Lucasfilm, PDI Dreamworks, and Blue Sky Studios. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Hulk, Shrek 2, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Horton Hears a Who are some of the films he has worked on.

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Jack and the Beanstalk 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
dpersichino More than 1 year ago
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.
db4034 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Carol Mina More than 1 year ago
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.
NanaLovesBooks More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughters (3 & 6) love this book! GREAT narration, lots of content, nice illustrations. I just wish there were more like it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
DJDW More than 1 year ago
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.
Mzdooly More than 1 year ago
I really like this book, my children ages 18,11, & 4 really love this book. It is definently a family favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it
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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
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My granddaughter loves it!
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