Jack and the beanstalk

E. 1858-1924 Nesbit

Book - 2006

After climbing to the top of a huge beanstalk, a boy uses his quick wits to outsmart a giant and gain a fortune for himself and his mother.

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Picture books
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press 2006.
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 31 cm
Main Author
E. 1858-1924 Nesbit (-)
Other Authors
Matt Tavares (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

First published in Nesbit's The Old Nursery Stories (1908), this lively retelling adds character and wit to the timeless fairy tale, and Tavares' large pencil-and-watercolor illustrations, in shades of dusky brown and green, are a fitting accompaniment to the young boy's scary encounter with the giant. There is a bit of Lazy Jack in the small blond kid who doesn't like to work and is so clumsy that he makes a mess when he tries. But after climbing the beanstalk into a new world, he tricks the wicked ogre and brings home the gold. Pictures show the hideous, hairy giant, with bulging stomach, huge hands, and bare feet, surrounded by skulls as he counts his wealth in a dark house, an effective contrast to the small, cozy cottage where Jack and his mother live. The boy who transforms himself on his perilous journey to the sky is a timeless hero. Great for story hours. ((Reviewed September 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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 [Page 122]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After climbing to the top of a huge beanstalk, a boy uses his quick wits to outsmart a giant and gain a fortune for himself and his mother.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

This wonderful retelling of the classic story, first published in 1908, follows Jack who, after climbing to the top of a huge beanstalk, uses his quick wits to outsmart a giant and gain a fortune for himself and his mother.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Elegant watercolors echoing the burnished gold tones of the rolling fields show well in storyhours." —School Library JournalJack 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.