This version rings with vibrancy and power...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though his text remains true to the popular version of this English fairy tale, Kellogg's ( Paul Bunyan ; Pecos Bill ) typically antic art gives this rendition a visual dimension that is uniquely his. Created with colored inks, watercolors and acrylics, the full-page illustrations have extraordinary texture and dimension. With a mouthful of pointy teeth and warts covering his scaly green face, Kellogg's villain is a truly horrid fellow who may in fact be a wee bit scary for fainthearted little ones--it's easy to believe that this giant eats little boys for breakfast. Slightly less menacing (though hardly comely) is his wife, who wears a necklace of tiny skeletons and hides Jack from her hungry husband. The pictures' variegated gold and bronze hues effectively cast an ominous glow over the ogre's palace. The art also features diverting details that youngsters may miss the first time around, which is one of many good reasons to read this book more than once. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
Kellogg uses his masterful storytelling talent to bring the irresistible tale of Jack, his poor cow, and magic beans to life with energized spirit. Hilarious illustrations and enchanting prose work together to create an exciting retelling of the traditional tale. Jack outsmarts the ogre and his wife in three trips up the beanstalk and ends up with a bag of gold, a hen that lays golden eggs, and a golden harp that sings beautiful music. Readers of all ages will enjoy the exciting ending to this clever story.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Kellogg has streamlined Joseph Jacobs's version of the classic story, keeping much of its vigorous language. In the illustrations he has provided a story within a story. On the front endpapers, the ogre steals the gold, harp, and hen from pirates as a wizard floating by in a hot-air balloon watches; this has the effect of enlightening readers about some of the moral ambiguities of the story. The wizard is shown writing down the actual events that follow and provides Jack with the beans that set them all in motion. Kellogg's riotous, swirling pen is perfect for the energy of the tale; this is not the neat, contained English countryside of some previous editions. The ogre is toothy, warty, and a rather putrid yellow-green. His wife breaks the mold as well; she is tall and slim, fond of lipstick, and adorned in a necklace of skeletal shrunken heads. Colored inks, watercolors and acrylics throughout are similar in palette to Kellogg's recent work--lots of orange, yellow, and green--at times bordering on the garish. There are many humorous touches to delight children, who will also be happy to see Pinkerton accompanying the princess's entourage. Jack himself is irresistible. While many single-volume illustrated fairy tales have oversaturated the market, there should be plenty of room for this author/artist's extremely satisfying Jack and the Beanstalk . --Leda Schubert, Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier