Reading Level: Middle Grade
Size: 304 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC through Amazon Vine
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This was a well done retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s a cute story and I liked how other nursery rhymes were woven into the story as well (The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, The Cobbler and the Elves, and Tom Thumb to name a couple).
You pretty much know this story if you know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack’s father tells him fantastical stories about giants but most of the village (including Jack’s mother) doesn’t believe in giants. Then one day the village, including Jack’s father, is literally carried off by a giant. Jack grows a giant beanstalk and ascends to the world of the giants to get his father back.
This was a quick and easy read. I didn’t engage with the characters all that well, but they were okay. The story is well done and ties up nicely. Really this is one of those books that when I finished it I was like “Huh, okay that was fine…onto something new.” I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I think kids in the middle grade age range will enjoy it more than adults will.
I did enjoy how more story is added to the Jack and the Beanstalk story. The giants have a reason for their rampaging around human farms and villages; they are going through a sort of famine. I also enjoyed how numerous other fairy tales and nursery rhymes are blended into the story. I enjoyed the authors afterward where she discusses which elements of this story she took from which sources.
Overall this was a cute and fun retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. I would recommend if you really enjoy middle grade fairy tales retelling. This is a story I think middle grade readers will enjoy more than adults though. I probably won’t be reading anymore of this series.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge