Jack and the Beanstalk and the French Fries
Jack and the Beanstalk and the French Fries

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Annotation: In this humorous version of the traditional tale, Jack's magic beanstalk produces so many beans that soon everyone in the village is sick of eating them, and mad at Jack, and when he climbs the beanstalk he finds that Mr. Giant is equally fed up with beans--but fortunately Mrs. Giant suggests a solution to their diet problem.
Catalog Number: #143385
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-91431-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-98096-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-91431-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-98096-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016037154
Dimensions: 31 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This twist on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale is set in a fanciful medieval European village and includes most of the story's traditional elements. The gold, harp, and goose make cameos, but food is the important commodity. Unfortunately, the beanstalk produces an overabundance of beans, and everyone (including the giant) is sick of eating them, even though they're "nutritious and delicious and, best of all, they're free." Jack and the giant bond over their disgust of beans and a desire for french fries. When they throw beans around in protest, the giant's wife strongly suggests they plant a vegetable garden for variety. The plants in their garden prove just as abundant as the beanstalk, producing food for everyone cluding plenty of potatoes for french fries. While the well-crafted, lively text packs plenty of subtle humor and appropriate exaggeration, it is Teague's artwork, with his sculptural figures and lush backdrops, that makes the story soar. Good storytelling with a thought-provoking moral: when life gets boring, plant a new garden.
Horn Book
In this twist on the traditional tale, Jack's magic beanstalk produces enough beans to keep the whole town fed, but everyone soon grows bored with the monotonous diet. Jack climbs the beanstalk and discovers that he and the giant have the same culinary complaint: "NO MORE BEANS!" The illustrations exaggerate the storybook setting and its characters for comedic effect, and sly surprises appear throughout.
Kirkus Reviews
Teague fractures the classic fairy tale, sending Jack on a culinary odyssey. The tale begins as expected. Jack and his mother, both depicted as white, are poor; Jack goes to town to sell a cow; he returns with no money but a handful of magic beans. His mother throws the beans out the window, and the next day a gigantic beanstalk has grown. But here the story takes a new path. No longer will Jack and his mother starve, as the stalk bears a huge number of beans, and she cooks up baked beans, pickled beans, mashed beans, bean soup, and bean chowder. Jack soon tires of beans and dreams of burgers and french fries. When he climbs the beanstalk, he finds a like-minded giant (also white) who's so tired of beans he wants to eat Jack instead. But the bean-hating duo heads down the stalk and plants a garden with a more diversified crop of vegetables, to the delight of the whole, not-particularly-diverse community. As in his The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf (2013), Teague defuses a conflict through the promise of good food. His full-bleed illustrations effectively emphasize the size of both giant and beanstalk, culminating in a humorous final page depicting the giant's arm reaching down from off the page to give Jack's plate of french fries a nice squirt of ketchup. Fun. (Picture book. 3-8)
Publishers Weekly
Teague (The Pirate Jamboree) uses the classic beanstalk story to lobby for vegetables-except beans, which he admits can be awful. Jack-s mother tosses his seeds out the window (-Foolish boy! You have ruined us!-) but rejoices in the endless crop of beans the magic vine produces: -They ate bean salad and bean soup, pickled beans and refried beans... breaded beans, bean sprouts, and bean dip.- The town-s children come after Jack when they-re forced to eat beans, too, and their bullying drives Jack up the stalk, where he discovers that the giant has the same problem (-You know what-s disgusting? Beans-). Jack-s initial wish for junk food (-He dreamed of burgers. He dreamed of french fries-) is smoothly replaced by the joy of tending a huge vegetable garden-and by the homemade fries he makes from his own potatoes. Teague-s lush, colorful paintings brim with medieval costumes and scenery, and his drily funny dialogue is good for lots of laughs. Whether the tale will produce a love for produce is anybody-s guess, but readers will undoubtedly enjoy this farm-fresh retelling. Ages 3-5. (July)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2When Jack's mother throws the result of his bad bargain out the window, a great bean-giving stalk sprouts and leads to dinners of baked, minced, mashed, and pickled beans. Though thankful he is no longer hungry, Jack quickly develops the bean blues. His neighborly mother shares their good fortune, making Jack unpopular with the village kids, who are now in the same bean-filled boat. When Jack, "the bean kid," receives only bean-themed birthday presents, it is the last strawhe has to get rid of the beanstalk. During a surprise encounter, Jack and the giant discover they are both tired of eating nothing but nutritious, boring beans, and after sharing in an epic bean-throwing tantrum, they end up playing for the same side. On the sound advice of the giantess, who suggests, "If you don't like beans, plant something else," Jack and the giant team up on an agricultural enterprise that produces a feast for villagers and giants alike. The text is clear and humor-filled, but the layered painted illustrations tell a hilarious story without the help of words. Each character, particularly Jack's dramatic cow, is crafted with nuanced facial and physical expressions that articulate the action taking place. Details in the artwork make this adventure special; watch for mysterious eyes peeping out from under a rock near the giant's castle, framed photos of fairy-tale heroes hanging on the wall of Jack's house, and bean recipe books in Mrs. Giant's kitchen. VERDICT This delightfully illustrated twist on a classic has a traditional beginning that veers wildly out of familiar territory when the villain turns out to be not the giant but a sustaining and boring beanstalk that proves you can certainly have too much of a good thing. A super read-aloud selection.Lauren Younger, New York Public Library
Word Count: 1,394
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 190146 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q71673
Lexile: 560L

Award-winning author and illustrator Mark Teague tells his humorous version of beloved fairytale classic Jack and the Beanstalk with a delicious twist!


When Jack trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans, he gets more beans than he ever expected or wanted. It's bean porridge for breakfast! Bean salad for lunch! Bean chowder for dinner! It doesn't take long before Jack is tired of eating nothing but beans--no matter how nutritious!

But just as he's about to chop down his magic beanstalk, he meets a grumpy giant, who is just as sick and tired of beans as he is. Together, Jack and the giant cook up a plan to plant a vegetable garden full of tomatoes, corn, carrots, and russet potatoes that's bound to satisfy everyone.

A deliciously zany retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk from author Mark Teague that ends with one happy boy, a satisfied giant, and a large plate of french fries.

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