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Jack and the Beanstalk Paperback – April 24, 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 660 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (April 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688152813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688152819
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

With the same energy, humor and clarity found in his 50 books, David wows audiences at schools around the United States and beyond. David is an accomplished storyteller and a master at getting kids to think and have fun at the same time. His presentations lead children on entertaining and educational journeys that combine math, science, reading and writing. David also gives keynote presentations and workshops for educators at professional conferences.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall I enjoyed the book - the illustrations in particular are amazing (and yes, possibly scary for the under 5 crowd). My only complaint is perhaps what other readers may view as a positive - that the text tries to capture the "Old world" language flare. At times, I found the wording to be unintentionally tongue twisting... not just the choice of words but the rhythm to the sentences - all made it a little rough for this reader the first time through. As examples, try reading aloud:
"What!" said Jack's mother."Have you been such a dolt, such an idiot as to give away my Milky-white, the best milker in the parish, for a set of paltry beans? Off with you to bed! And as for your precious beans, here they go out the window."
So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, and sad and sorry he was to be sure, as much for his mother's sake as for the loss of his supper.
....
My only other criticism of the book is that only once does the Ogre give the full recitation of
"Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell the blood of an Enlishman.
Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread."
Most of the time he only says Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, or perhaps the rest of the first line. I've read another version that repeats the full verse at least thrice, and by the third reading, all the children are gleefully reciting along with you. So when I read this particular version to my children, I just ad lib that part and read the full verse each time, which the children seem to enjoy.

Overall, I'd say the illustrations make the book. Otherwise, the version is a bit too awkwardly worded for me, but others may enjoy that style.
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Format: Paperback
Kellogg's traditional tale interpretations are among the best. His illustrations take on the old-time feel of classic tales and seem to magically glow, as they do in all his books. I read this book to my Kindergarten class and they ask for it again and again. It is great to see them cover their eyes and ears at the scary moments--they are frightened, but smiling from ear to ear.
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Format: Hardcover
A faithful rendering of a classic story with artful decoration. Like most of the "Jack" stories, this story of cunning, belief in self, perseverence, duplicity, and violence evokes mixed feelings for adult readers. My young daughter loves the story and the pictures, but appeared to take the story too seriously at first. Now it's just another bedtime story with lovely pictures and a well-worn plotline.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have two boys ages 3 1/2 and 5 1/2. The pictures in this book are too graphic and scary for young children. I only read a few pages and put it away. My boys had no desire to look at this scary book. I was worried my children would have nightmares if I read the entire book to them. I plan on donating this book.
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Format: Paperback
Steven Kellog is a fantastic illustrator if your familiar with any of his works you know this. So when I set out on my quest to find a gripping fantastic "NON-Scary" version of 'Jack and the Beanstalk" I gave this a whirl but boy am I incredibly disappointed the ogre in it is very scary, he actually holds a big "hunting" type knife the words haven't been altered in anyway so "fee fi fo fum I smell the blood of an englishman" etc is still there and just much to much for a little girl aged 3 which is what I have here at home its too graphic I actually gave the book away to my cousins kids who play all the new video so are not easily scared and are 7+ for any younger I'd hide this on the back of the bookcase unless you don't mind that sort of thing. In my house this is a nightmare causing book. Steven stayed really close to the original so kudos for that but beware of the recommended age group on this story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally brought this version of Jack and the Beanstalk home from the library to see if my 4 year old grandson would like it--he loved it so much I purchased it. This version is similar to the one I remember growing up with, however, when I read it to him I eliminate/improvise over the sentences that I think are way too scarey for a small child (eating boys on toast for breakfast, broiling calves, etc.). Even tho I think the illustrations can be a little frightening for smaller children, he doesn't seem to be bothered by them. And, all children love "fee fi fo fum, etc." and like to be scared just a little bit.
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Format: Paperback
4 1/2 Stars

This may be a picture book of a classic children's story, but this story gains a bit of fear when illustrated, making it unsuitable to children who are easily frightened. My preschooler covered his eyes; the ogre is really scary looking.

As for the story itself, it is a classic and retold well here. Young grade school kids will enjoy the small thrill of the tenser moments followed by the relief of the happy ending, especially if you give the ogre a really scary voice.

And the pictures--dark pictures for dark scenes--are well done. Don't miss the ones before the title page and after the end of the story as they tell the rest of the story.

One question: If Jack's mom was going to start shop with the proceeds from the cow, why didn't she do it with the bag of gold?
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Format: Hardcover
I thought this version of the fairy tale was very well written. This is probably my favorite version out of the ones I have read before. It has been my favorite fairy tale since I was just a young little boy. I always liked to hear my mother and school teacher read the story out loud. My favorite part used to be when the ogre said, "Fee! Fi! Fo! Fum!" I remember when my kindergarten teacher used to walk around like a monster when she read that part. The pictures in this version are also a couple of the better ones I've seen in other versions of the fairy tale. I thought the author of the book was one of the best because he was pretty good at telling the tale and he also used detailed pictures. The pictures would be enough to scare little ones and make them laugh at the same time. The pictures were probably some of the better ones you will see in other versions of this fairy tale.
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