Jacques and de Beanstalk by Mike Artell, Jim Harris |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Jacques and de Beanstalk

Jacques and de Beanstalk

by Mike Artell, Jim Harris

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I don' know fo' sure if dat story is true,

But down where de Cajuns live on de bayou,

When dey tell dem stories, dey shore like to talk

About dat boy Jacques and his magic beanstalk.

You know the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but youfive never heard it like this before. Told in Cajun dialect with a distinct bayou flair, this book is


I don' know fo' sure if dat story is true,

But down where de Cajuns live on de bayou,

When dey tell dem stories, dey shore like to talk

About dat boy Jacques and his magic beanstalk.

You know the classic story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but youfive never heard it like this before. Told in Cajun dialect with a distinct bayou flair, this book is perfect for reading aloud. There is even a glossary and pronunciation guide to help! The creators of Petite Rouge (which Publishers Weekly called 'a sassy, spicy outing') once again deliver a hilarious twist on a well-known fairy tale.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Artell brings new life to the old Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale by setting it in the bayou and retelling it in rhymed couplets in mouth-filling Cajun dialect. This Jacques lives in the bayou with his MaMA and a small brown mouse. When he trades their old cow for magic beans, his MaMA is furious. But a giant beanstalk grows from the beans. Jacques climbs it, finds a castle, is hidden from the hungry giant by the lady there, and steals the hen that lays golden eggs. He escapes from the giant, chops down the beanstalk, and lives happily ever after with MaMA, the hen, and the golden eggs. The large size of the book has encouraged Harris to make almost everything (except Jacques, of course) extra large. The giant in particular fully fills the pages, even spilling over on a few. He is a stereotypical country bumpkin with bulbous nose, conical head, and neck as thick on par with a football player's. Details and settings suggest the Middle Ages; naturalistic pencil and watercolor illustrations create a stony castle, thick and twisting beanstalk, pastoral landscape, a feisty Jacques, and scrawny hen, all with individual personalities. Helpful suggestions for reading the tale aloud are included, along with a glossary with pronunciation information. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Artell and Harris's earlier Cajun retellings were celebrated for the clever regional twist they gave to familiar folktales. While Jacques and de Beanstalk uses that same voice, the story itself retains its original structure; there are no roles filled by alligators and no villains defeated with hot sauce. As such, the only value added to the canon by this version is that of accent. The combination of rhyme, rhythm, length, and dialect makes the story rather difficult to read aloud. The author seems aware that this may be the case and provides a glossary and pronunciation guide at the front, along with suggestions for how to emphasize the beats of each verse. A small quibble: the glossary defines "mon dieu" as French for "my goodness"—while this usage is correct, technically it translates as "My God." The illustrations are skillfully rendered in watercolor and pencil with a humorous over-the-top quality that suits the tall tale. The giant in particular is quite grotesque with his overgrown toenails and pointy head. As in this team's earlier books, a mouse (unmentioned in the text) accompanies the hero and takes part in the adventure. While it lacks the clever charm of the earlier volumes, this is a lively Beanstalk story, and it will be enjoyed where its precursors are popular.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews
Artell and Harris (The Three Little Cajun Pigs, 2003, etc.) once again attempt a Cajun twist on a familiar folktale, beginning as usual with a glossary of Cajun words and their pronunciations along with guidelines for reading the story aloud. The advice is necessary because the entire text is rendered in a highly formulaic though somewhat inconsistent representation of Cajun dialect. The author updates and truncates the original English fairy tale; in this version, Jacques only makes a single trip to the giant's castle, and he rescues the hen who lays the golden eggs out of compassion rather than avarice. While the story is entertaining, copious use of dialect and substituting Cajun names and foods does not "A Cajun Tale" make. The watercolor illustrations, while detailed and dynamic in their execution, are frustratingly vague and generic, failing to evoke the Cajun milieu. Try Feliciana Feydra LeRoux, by Tynia Thomassie (1995), or Chicken Joy on Redbean Road, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (2007), instead. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD910L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Mike Artell is an award-winning children's book author, illustrator and television cartoonist. Mike's books include nationally recognized lift-the-flap board books for small children and non-fiction books for older children. Mike has also written and illustrated teacher and parent resource books on subjects as diverse as ecology, parties, drawing and young authorship. In addition to his work as an author and illustrator, Mike also has extensive experience as:

· A musician who plays guitar, bass, keyboard and blues harmonica.
· A storyteller who regularly performs original poems and tales.
· A newspaper editorial cartoonist.
· A magazine and greeting card writer and cartoonist.
· A keynote speaker for major educational conferences.
· A marketing consultant/board member for several high technology companies.
· The host of his own television cartooning show.

Each year, Mike shares his books and his writing/drawing techniques with thousands of students at dozens of schools across the country. During that same year, Mike typically writes and illustrates 2 books, conducts 6 teacher workshops, addresses 10 educational conferences and visits 6 libraries or children's museums.

Mike also conducts "author/illustrator in residence" programs at schools. Mike has personally guided more than 4,000 students through the process of writing and illustrating their own picture books. For this work, Mike was recognized by the Northshore (LA) chapter of the International Reading Association for "exemplary service in the promotion of literacy."

Several of Mike's books have been award-winners. Most recently, Mike's astronomy book for children, Starry Skies, was named a 1998 Best Science Book For Children by Science Books and Films magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mike's books have also been named "Pick of the Lists" by Publisher's Weekly, "Top 100" by Curriculum Administrator Magazine and "Teacher's Choice" by Learning Magazine.

Mike is available for conference presentations, teacher workshops, school visits and Young Authors programs.

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