We are quickly running out of time at the end of our school year, it’s crazy! But I still have time to read a few more fairytales with the first grade. Today we read Jack and the Beanstalk retold by Steven Kellogg.
The kids liked this story a lot! Of course it helps a lot that Kellogg’s illustrations are outstanding. There is always so much to see on his pages. One of the things we noticed that the Princess on the title page has a big white great dane that looks like Pinkerton from Kellogg’s hilarious series. I’ve seen Pinkerton in so many of his books lately that I wonder if he’s in all of them….I need to research that more. But, back to Jack. In this version, there is no giant. Instead, the people living at the top of the beanstalk are very tall and the man is an ogre.
He’s quite ferocious. Otherwise, we agreed that this is the basic Jack story, though some of the kids didn’t realize that he stole from the giant or ogre three times. We have quite a few versions of the story in the library, from traditional to graphic novel and fractured fairytales.
I know that I have more than this, but these are the ones that I was the most familiar with. The Thief and the Beanstalk was a great retelling, where it isn’t the original Jack going back up the beanstalk to right the wrongs that his forerunner committed.
Liesel Shurtliff’s story is tied to Rump, the true story of Rumpelstiltskin, in that the beanstalk leads Jack to a world of giants — the world where Rump lives. It’s a fresh mix on the story, where Jack is determined to rescue his father from the giants with the hinderance or help of his little sister in tow.