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Mountain Jack Tales Paperback – November 8, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Parkway Publishers, Inc. (November 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887905510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887905510
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,575,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a lucid, vibrant voice, Caldecott Medalist Haley ( A Story, A Story ) recounts stories which originate in the rugged North Carolina mountain country. Following a diverting introduction comes an animated assortment of 10 fairy tales, fables and tall tales with one commonality: each revolves around Jack, a young man who encounters kings, giants, mysterious old men and talking animals. In one tale the kind and zealous protagonist has brothers or a wife; in the next, he has none. This folktale Everyman will "risk just about everything to have an adventure. It's like a hunger he has, and his dreams will lead him into places where an older, wiser person might think twice about goin'." Haley's use of metaphor, hyperbole and dialect captures the playful spirit of mountain lore. Her emotive, elaborate wood engravings--as well as her afterwords about the stories, the art and the language itself--enrich this buoyant anthology. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6-- Haley retells nine Jack tales in this collection that provides a kind of sequel to her Jack and the Bean Tree (Crown, 1986). Once again, she uses Poppyseed, a mountain woman, to provide the framework for the stories. The selections come from Haley's grandmother, and have changed over time as she herself has heard versions from other countries and from such mountain tellers as Ray Hicks. The origins and influences on her stories are discussed in an afterword, as is the process of creating the art. Like Richard Chase's The Jack Tales (Houghton, 1943), the stories feature a North Carolina dialect (a glossary is provided), but Haley's voice is more matter-of-fact, less ironic, and there's less dialect but it seems more artificial. Each story is illustrated with one or two bland, black-and-white wood engravings that seem too stilted for what should be lively tales. Young readers will find these offerings accessible; older children, teachers, and storytellers will appreciate Haley's background information and may incorporate it into their own oral tellings. However, Chase's book is still preferred. --Barbara Chatton, College of Education, Univ . of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Written and illustrated by puppeteer, storyteller, and children's author Gail E. Haley, Mountain Jack Tales is a simply wonderful collection of short stories written in the classic style of the great folklore yarns of old, and focusing on the adventurer called Mountain Jack, and his fantastic exploits against ogres, card sharks, stubborn witches, and even Old Man Death himself. Flavorful and upbeat language mark this highly enjoyable, enthusiastically recommended compendium of original tall tales that are certain to entertain and please readers of all ages!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Campbell on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't know what that reviewer was thinking who rated this book one star, she must have had a bone to pick. I've read many volumes of folktales from all over the world, and this one's a gem. It borrows classic themes in folk literature and lets them float down through an Appalachian sifter. And the wood engravings are wonderful and apt given the great wood carvings from eastern North Carolina and the Smokies. I didn't grow up in this part of the country but didn't find the language obtuse. Besides, there's a great glossary of terms in the back. Well worth a read. I'm adding this one to my collection!
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By Joanna Hardin on October 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to hear the author tell her stories as a young girl and it made such an impression on me and my entire family that we bought the book on the spot. It is such a fun and amusing twist on the Jack and the Beanstalk tales. Now I have a young son of my own and want to share the same fun stories at bed time. I HIGHLY recommend this for all ages because it's just so darn fun to read out loud, especially for those of us that like to use accents and funny voices to accentuate story time with our children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What else is there to say? The author has written some moving and accessible writing that makes the tales leap out of the page.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gypsi Phillips Bates VINE VOICE on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was a mediocre retelling in which the author chose to have a narrator tell the tales in an Appalachian dialect. I am an Appalachian mountain girl myself, and still had occasionally difficulty understanding. I can only imagine the reaction from one who did not grow up hearing this language. The tales themselves were clinical, sterile retellings with no life in them and the overall result was a dismal disappointment.
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