Jack and the Baked Beanstalk by Colin Stimpson

Jack and the Baked Beanstalk
Colin Stimpson
Templar Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5563-1
FORMAT: Picture Books
AGES: Preschool, Elementary
4.5 Stars

This is a retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairytale. And I LOVED it! I like how it gives a nod to the fairytale, but it is its own story. It doesn’t follow the tale to the point that it is just a modern setting. It has its own twist–with some cans of baked beans on top. I like it.

I like how the set up explains why two worthy (three if you count the dog) people are down on their luck. I also thought it was fun to see the 1930s/1940s era of clothes, cars, and buildings. That really was a time when people were down on their luck, so it made sense that Jack and his mother would live then. And I like the giant and the giant chicken and the radio (instead of the singing harp). This is a story that can stand on its own within the fairytale retelling world.

I think it will be fun to tell or read to kids…and that is probably the highest praise I could give it.

What to do After Reading this Book:
Retell various fairy tales or folk tales and add in a random twist that is unique to your family.
Merge some fairy tales or folk tales together.
Act out a fairy tale (with kids as actors or stuffed animals or puppets).
Make omelets.
Talk about the Great Depression.

What this Will do for Kids:
It will help them realize that there isn’t one particular fairy tale or folk tale that is the “real” version (sorry Disney).
It can show that giants and other fairy tale stereotypes aren’t always mean and evil.
It can introduce them to a new historical time that they might not know about yet.

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