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Jack and the Beanstalk

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Overview

Jack's turn of fortune signals an exciting new direction for Matt Tavares, whose stunning full-color artwork enlivens this classic gift edition.

Jack can't seem to do anything useful for his poor mother. He can't even conduct an errand as simple as selling the cow; instead, he trades the beast for a handful of beans. But then, amazingly, those very beans sprout into a towering stalk, elevating Jack to a strange land ruled by a greedy giant. Jack must be clever and brave as he ...

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Overview

Jack's turn of fortune signals an exciting new direction for Matt Tavares, whose stunning full-color artwork enlivens this classic gift edition.

Jack can't seem to do anything useful for his poor mother. He can't even conduct an errand as simple as selling the cow; instead, he trades the beast for a handful of beans. But then, amazingly, those very beans sprout into a towering stalk, elevating Jack to a strange land ruled by a greedy giant. Jack must be clever and brave as he tries to return the giant's stolen treasures to their rightful owner. E. Nesbit's charming, wry retelling of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK was first published in 1908. Preserving the author's unabridged text, this gorgeously designed edition features the dynamic artwork and dramatic perspectives of Matt Tavares, realized in full-color illustrations for the very first time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With E. Nesbit's 1908 retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk as his foundation, Matt Tavares brings to life the classic story. He envisions the giant's territory as a barren land, high above the earth, with stark trees and skulls littering the ground. His Jack is a sympathetic blond, blue-eyed fellow who instantly bonds with the treasure-laying hen, while the monstrous red-eyed giant is easy to despise. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jennie DeGenaro
First published in 1908, this charming fairy tale tells the story of Jack, who lives with his poor, hard-working mother. Jack can't do anything right. When his widowed mother trusts him to sell their cow, Jack trades it for a handful of beans. In disgust, his mother throws the beans out the window and makes Jack go to bed without supper. The very next morning fantastic events start happening. Jack climbs the huge beanstalk that has grown outside his window. He reaches a strange land where he encounters a kind woman married to a hungry giant. Jack takes the giant's hen that lays golden eggs, he returns and takes bags of gold and on the next trip, he takes the giant's golden harp. Years before, these treasures belonged to Jack's father. Jack chops down the stalk and the giant is killed. In the end, Jack proves to be a clever lad who helps his mother and himself prosper. This fairy tale is packaged in an attractive hardback format with beautiful full-page illustrations.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This witty, elegant retelling of the beloved English fairy tale, originally published in 1908 in The Old Nursery Stories, uses rich language to depict an endearing, if lazy, ne'er-do-well who turns folly into triumph. Into the traditional story Nesbit injects clever details that make the setting vivid and bring the characters to life. Jack's cottage "had dormer windows and green shutters whose hinges were so rusty that the shutters wouldn't shut. Jack had taken some of them to make a raft with." The narrative is fairly true to the familiar story with the notable absence of any fee-fi-fo-fums (instead, the giant smells "fresh meat"), and includes a guiding fairy who tells Jack the story of his father who once ruled this land, only to be killed by the giant who imprisoned the faithful subjects in the trees. Tavares's realistic pencil-and-watercolor paintings feature a muted palette of grays, greens, and browns, with a vintage look suitable to the old tale. Gold is used to particularly good effect, lighting up fairy glow, eggs, harp, and the giant's crown, as well as suggesting sunlight on the landscape. There is great variety in the page layout. Perspective, too, changes as the giant's head takes up one whole page; another spread features the fallen behemoth with his huge feet dominating the foreground. Front and back endpapers are stunning, panoramic views depicting the beginning and end of the story. What a treat to have Nesbit's delightful interpretation as its own picture book.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763621247
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/12/2006
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 639,226
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 12.12 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

E. Nesbit (1858-1924) spent her childhood in France and Germany and later lived in England. She began writing stories of fantasy and adventure for children in the early 1890s and is renowned for her very real, strong-willed young characters. Her novels include THE STORY OF THE TREASURE SEEKERS (1898), FIVE CHILDREN AND IT (1902), THE PHOENIX AND THE CARPET (1904), and THE RAILWAY CHILDREN (1906).

Matt Tavares is the illustrator of the seasonal classic 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS and the author-illustrator of three baseball-inspired favorites: ZACHARY'S BALL, OLIVER'S GAME, and MUDBALL. He lives in Ogunquit, Maine.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Great!

    The illustrations are absolutely wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    A reviewer

    Jack and the Beanstalk In the book, Jack and the Beanstalk by Patricia Polonco there are few characters. But those who are in it are very descriptive. There are villains and heroes and even a damsel in distress. Most of all there¿s one character unlike the rest. The beanstalk is neither human or living creature, but itself is like a character and it¿s life keeps the alive. There were also many scenes that stick out like a sore thumb. They were important and the story would not be the same without them. All of these elements are what keeps this story together. There are certain characters in this story that if they weren¿t there the story wouldn¿t work. Nothing would happen and this book would be boring. Just by adding three characters it works so much better. One is Jack. He is a protagonist. Jack is a brown-haired scroungy boy who is foolish and usually naughty. He is often in trouble with his mother. Another character of whom there is much importance is of course, the giant. He is a terrible and vicious man-eating giant. He knows humans occasionally arise from the earth to this unknown place. He hordes a huge fortune in his palace, which includes a women that is later saved by Jack. This antagonist is later demolished by the greatest character of the tale. Of course I said that the beanstalk was to be a major part in the story even from the time that it was just a pile of beans. This gets Jack into trouble, but also saves the woman, Jack and all of the future men that would have journeyed up the sides of the gigantic vegetable. There are also many events inside of the story that strike the reader as surprising. One instance that stands out is Jack scaling the beanstalk up and down. This is a human crossing the threshold of a gateway to an unseen world. Other instances occur when the giant rises from his throne to chase Jack. This leads to both life forms climbing down the beanstalk while Jack¿s mother is cutting away at the base of the stalk. And finally I can picture the look upon Jack¿s sharp face when the vicious giant threatened his life in a world that was unknown to anyone. After reading this book many times through I can now conclude that the moral of this book is that even with mistakes you can still achieve fortune. What appears to be a mistake to one can be the best decision for another. Jack took a risk, one that appears to be foolish. But instead his risk turns out to be more positive than one could imagine. Dreams are built on risks people take, and the risk Jack took brought him great fortune. A risk can also result in failure, but that is not the case four young Jack. This book urges the reader to think the impossible is possible no matter who tells you your choice will be fruitless. The writing style that is used in this book is cause and effect. For example, when Jack buys the beans he is scolded. But after climbing the stalk that resulted from the beans, he was rewarded with riches beyond belief. In conclusion to my response to this book, I say that the moral and theme are intertwined with each other and would recommend this book to children and adults alike. Children will find the book a simple adventure based on fantasy. Adults will see the choices made that result in the ultimate reward, a reward of unending riches. The review that I write shows some of the main points and characters the best of the scenes and the moral of the story. I hope I have shown you enough to demonstrate that his book is one of good taste and shows that no matter who you are good fortune can come to you. by K. Hernandez

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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