Published by Henry Holt and Co.
Summary: As they did with Cinderella in Glass Slipper, Golden Sandal and creation stories in First Light, First Life, Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis have created a story that weaves together elements from Jack and the Beanstalk type stories all around the world. These are all tales in which a child–often the smallest or youngest in a family–uses courage and cleverness to outwit a villain like a giant or witch. Each illustration identifies the country from which that particular element of the story originates. A map on the endpapers shows all the countries. Whether the hero grows to full size, becomes king, or gains the respect of his family, the story always has a happy ending. 40 pages; grades 1-5.
Pros: This book would be a perfect ending to a study of Jack and the Beanstalk tales; it’s not meant to be read as another re-telling, but rather as a way to appreciate both the variety and similarities of all these stories. The folk art-style illustrations give it an international flavor.
Cons: I’ve always felt that “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman” was an awkward rhyme. Why not “Fee-fi-fo-fan” or “Fee-fi-fo-fun”?
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