Jack and his marvelous beanstalk made their first appearance in England in 1734and for nearly three centuries the tale has continued to enchant children. After all, what could be more reassuring to a small child than the idea that even a little boy can outwit a scary giant?
John Cech retells this popular story with humor and warmth, adding plenty of entertaining details and bringing in some less familiar elements, too. (For example, when Jack escapes for the last time, the giants wife comes along with him, and becomes his mothers good friend.) And Robert Mackenzies art captures all the magic of the huge beanstalk and the giants oversized world up in the clouds.
John Cech is a professor of English at the University of Florida where he is the Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture. He was the creator, producer, and host of the daily public radio program "Recess!" about the cultures of childhood. He has served as the President of the Children's Literature Association and received the Anne Devereaux Jordan Award for his contributions to children's literature. John has written seven books in the Classic Fairy Tale Collection for Sterling, in addition to retellings of Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Martin Jarrie, and The Nutcracker, illustrated by Eric Puybaret. John lives in Gainesville, FL, with his wife, Eve.
Robert Mackenzie graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in illustration and animation. He has worked as a concept and visual development artist at Lucasfilm, PDI Dreamworks, and Blue Sky Studios. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, The Hulk, Shrek 2, Ice Age: The Meltdown, and Horton Hears a Who are some of the films he has worked on.
Praise for Jack and the Beanstalk:
"Because the bones of this classic tale are right, Cech's enhancements feel right, too. . . . Mackenzie's watercolor illustrations are done in a folk style using a green and gold palette with touches of red. The giant, with his very small head and bleary eyes, contrasts nicely with the rosy cheerfulness of Jack and his mother. Perspective is used to advantage, showing the beanstalk disappearing in the clouds and then the insubstantial base when seen from the top." School Library Journal
" . . . knits fresh strands into the Jack-and-the-beanstalk story. This smoothly paced version, which begins with some humorous wordplay, runs close to traditional tellings until the end . . . Mackenzie ably ramps up the drama in the pencil-and-paint scenes of apple-cheeked Jack eluding the bulbous-nosed, ham-handed giant. The extensive final note, connecting the storys motifs to archetypal tales throughout history, adds another reason for purchase, even in libraries where multiple versions of the story exist." Booklist