Famous Adventures of Jackby Berlie Doherty, Sonja Lamut (Illustrator)
It all starts when the storyteller tells Jill that it's high time she met Jack. The question is: Which Jack? "They're all called Jack around here," Mother Greenwood tells her. There's Great- grandfather Jack, Uncle Jack, Daft Jack, Jack the Giant Killer, and more, including, of course, Mother Greenwood's lazy, good-for-nothing, waste-of-a-wishbone son,
It all starts when the storyteller tells Jill that it's high time she met Jack. The question is: Which Jack? "They're all called Jack around here," Mother Greenwood tells her. There's Great- grandfather Jack, Uncle Jack, Daft Jack, Jack the Giant Killer, and more, including, of course, Mother Greenwood's lazy, good-for-nothing, waste-of-a-wishbone son, Jack.
The Jack stories are brimming with giants, magicians, dragons, brave deeds, clever tricks, princesses, and funny surprises, and Jill thinks each one is better than the last. But what does Mother Greenwood mean when she says that the storyteller puts everyone he meets into a story? What's with those beans Mother Greenwood tossed out her window? And what will happen when Jill meets her Jack?
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 AMER ED
- Product dimensions:
- 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 7 - 9 Years
Read an Excerpt
One day a gril was walking through the forest and she came upon an old woman sweeping leaves outside the door of a cottage.
"Excuse me," the girl said. The old woman stopped, and the leaves scuttled like mice back to their heap outside her door.
"Is this where Jack lives?" the girl said.
"They're all called Jack around here," the old woman said. "Cousin Jack, Great-grandfather Jack, Uncle Jack, son Jack, and some is daft and some is dead and some is disappeared. And some is lazy and good-for-nothing and waste-of-a-wishbone like my very own son. But they're all called Jack." She gave the leaves a last little stir with her broom. "You'd better come in."
Inside, the cottage was dark and very hot. Curled up in front of the flickering fire there was a black cat with a little white patch like a moon under his chin and another like a star on the tip of his tail. He yawned and stared at the girl, stretched himself full length, and then curled lazily back into a ball. The old woman flumped into a chair and slipped off her shoes. She put her feet on the cat and nodded at the girl.
"Which Jack did you want?" she asked. "They're ten a penny, jacks are."
"I don't know," the girl said. "I met a man on the road who said it was high time I met Jack. He asked me to bring this to you because it would help me to find him." She held up a bag made of bits of this and bits of that: royal velvet and old sacking, satin and rags, knitted squares, and patches of flowered cotton.
"Did he now," the old woman replied. "And what was he like? Long, raggedy tangle of a beard, and a cloak that's got daylight coming through, I suppose. Eyeslike a squirrel's hoard of nuts. Talks a load of nonsense. I know him all right."
"But as soon as he gave it to me, he disappeared."
"Let's see what he's sent me then, let's see." The old woman twitched her fingers impatiently, and the girl opened the bag and put her hand inside. She drew out a pouch made of old leather, fastened with a piece of frayed string, and the old woman leaned forward and snatched it from her. She pulled open the string and shook out the contents of the pouch onto her palm.
"Beans!" she said in disgust. "Well, we know what to do with them!" And quick as a girl she stood up, opened the latticed window behind her, and tipped the beans into the garden. The cat shuddered and licked her toes. "Anything else?"
The girl put her hand into the bag again and brought out a comb. "I like this," she said, putting it into her hair, where it shone as if it were studded with diamonds.
"What's that?" the old woman shrieked. "That's not a comb! Give it here!"
The girl pulled the comb out of her hair quickly and saw that the old woman was right; it wasn't a comb at all, but the skeleton of a fish. She threw it onto the old woman's lap, and for a moment it turned into a herring, gleaming and twisting, flashing with beautiful iridescent colors. The cat opened his green eyes and snapped his teeth together, but in an instant the fish turned back into a spine of bones, and the old woman trilled her fingernails along it and made it chime.
"The king of the herrings!" she laughed. "That's what this is! Would you like to hear about my greatgrandfather Jack and the king of the herrings?"
"Yes, please," said the girl, who loved stories better than anything.
"Hmmph." The old woman cleared her throat and leaned back against her cushions. "Let's think then ...."The Famous Adventures of Jack. Copyright � by Berlie Doherty. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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