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Jack and the Beanstalk: The Graphic Novel

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When Jack sells his family's cow for magic beans, his mother is anything but pleased. Soon, however, the beans sprout into a towering beanstalk. It leads to a castle filled with gold and other treasures. Jack's family will be rich, if he can sneak past the man-eating giant! When Jack sells his family's cow for magic beans, his mother is anything but pleased. Soon, however, the beans sprout into a towering beanstalk. It leads to a castle filled with gold and other treasures. Jack's family will be rich, if he can sneak past the man-eating giant!


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When Jack sells his family's cow for magic beans, his mother is anything but pleased. Soon, however, the beans sprout into a towering beanstalk. It leads to a castle filled with gold and other treasures. Jack's family will be rich, if he can sneak past the man-eating giant! When Jack sells his family's cow for magic beans, his mother is anything but pleased. Soon, however, the beans sprout into a towering beanstalk. It leads to a castle filled with gold and other treasures. Jack's family will be rich, if he can sneak past the man-eating giant!

30 review for Jack and the Beanstalk: The Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I loved this graphic novel for kids! The pictures were amazing and the story was very classic:) As a mom, I really loved all the pages in the back with super simple word definitions, discussion questions, and more. I will definitely be purchasing this book for my kids!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Thalmann

    Folktale In this graphic novel version of the familiar tale "Jack and the Beanstalk," Jack is traveling to the market to sell the family cow when he meets a mysterious old man who gives him five magic beans in exchange for the cow. Returning home with excitement, Jack is shocked when his mother is not nearly as thrilled by the deal as he is and throws the beans out the door. Running out the door the next morning, Jack collides with a massive beanstalk that has sprouted overnight and reaches high Folktale In this graphic novel version of the familiar tale "Jack and the Beanstalk," Jack is traveling to the market to sell the family cow when he meets a mysterious old man who gives him five magic beans in exchange for the cow. Returning home with excitement, Jack is shocked when his mother is not nearly as thrilled by the deal as he is and throws the beans out the door. Running out the door the next morning, Jack collides with a massive beanstalk that has sprouted overnight and reaches high into the sky. Climbing it in search of food, he encounters the giant responsible for his father's demise and his family's poverty. Will his desire for justice for his father prove to be his undoing? While the witty commentary of the female characters, Jack's mother and the giant's wife, provide interest and humor, the story has some inconsistencies and gaps. For example, the book does not attempt to explain why the giant's wife tries to save Jack from being eaten right after she tells Jack about the little boy that the giant ate the previous night. Why does she feel sympathy towards Jack when she allowed another boy to meet the same fate? The book also skims over one of Jack's acts of thievery, showing only his return to his mother with the purloined hen, not how he stole her from the giant. The illustrations are engaging and focus on moments of action, but the illustrator frequently relies on boxes containing narration, which break up the flow of the story, and he chooses to have Jack speak aloud to himself when thought bubbles might have been more natural. In addition, in a scene in which Jack is hiding from the giant in a teapot, given the amount of Jack's head that is showing in the illustration, it seems highly unlikely that the giant would have missed seeing him. At the end of the novel, the author explains the story's origins in the oral tradition and describes variants of the tale. He identifies the source that his version most closely resembles but explains that he changed some details. This explanation as well as the discussion questions and writing prompts that follow might make this graphic novel a possible reading for a unit on fairy tales in an elementary classroom, especially since the graphic novel format would add variety for students. However, the story's theme of "an eye for an eye," displayed through Jack's pilfering of the giant's possessions that previously belonged to Jack's father as well as through the giant's eventual fate, seems like a somewhat disturbing lesson for a young audience. Target Audience: Ages 7-10

  3. 5 out of 5

    V.E.

    Out of all the Graphic novel Fairy tales in this series, Jack and the Beanstalk is the best. I thought the illustrations had more of a graphic novel feel than the previous books. The story was also more than just a summary common to the other books. I really liked that this version had Jack reclaiming his families lost treasure from the Giant rather than just being a mischievous thief. The story is ended very quickly and could have used another panel or two. Other than that it is a popular title Out of all the Graphic novel Fairy tales in this series, Jack and the Beanstalk is the best. I thought the illustrations had more of a graphic novel feel than the previous books. The story was also more than just a summary common to the other books. I really liked that this version had Jack reclaiming his families lost treasure from the Giant rather than just being a mischievous thief. The story is ended very quickly and could have used another panel or two. Other than that it is a popular title in our library and both boys and girls really enjoy it. Features: Discussion questions, Writing prompts, story history and vocabulary perfect for a classroom or library setting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alison Russell

    This graphic novel tells the traditional, Disney-esque story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The fact that it is a graphic novel really doesn't add anything to the story. The plot is the same and there is still text at the bottom of each picture. The only real difference is that speech bubbles are used, and there are multiple scenes on some pages. This isn't a great read, but perhaps could be used to students as a non-example of how the format of a book can enhance the story (or not, in this case). This graphic novel tells the traditional, Disney-esque story of Jack and the Beanstalk. The fact that it is a graphic novel really doesn't add anything to the story. The plot is the same and there is still text at the bottom of each picture. The only real difference is that speech bubbles are used, and there are multiple scenes on some pages. This isn't a great read, but perhaps could be used to students as a non-example of how the format of a book can enhance the story (or not, in this case).

  5. 4 out of 5

    R. C.

    "Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread!" This retelling appealed to my comic book loving kid and was faithful enough to the classic version to please his literature loving mom. The illustrations could have been better, but the history of the story, writing prompts and discussion questions are worth the cost of the book. I'm used to seeing comprehension questions touted as discussion questions in books for readers at this level. These actually fired up a dialogue betwee "Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread!" This retelling appealed to my comic book loving kid and was faithful enough to the classic version to please his literature loving mom. The illustrations could have been better, but the history of the story, writing prompts and discussion questions are worth the cost of the book. I'm used to seeing comprehension questions touted as discussion questions in books for readers at this level. These actually fired up a dialogue between my son and myself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brook

    I just discovered this great little gem. I borrowed if from the library after reading about it. It is one that I would like to own. My kids (ages 5 & 7) giggled at the expressive Jack and his crazy hair. They loved the dialogue. After we finished reading they immediately turned back to re-read their favorite funny parts and then acted it out themselves (twice). I will certainly be checking out the rest of this "Graphic Spin" series. For a great discussion about graphic novels check out Shannon H I just discovered this great little gem. I borrowed if from the library after reading about it. It is one that I would like to own. My kids (ages 5 & 7) giggled at the expressive Jack and his crazy hair. They loved the dialogue. After we finished reading they immediately turned back to re-read their favorite funny parts and then acted it out themselves (twice). I will certainly be checking out the rest of this "Graphic Spin" series. For a great discussion about graphic novels check out Shannon Hale's blog.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    In this modern spin on a classic tale, Jack sells his mother’s cow for five magic beans, which grow into a sky-high bean stalk overnight. When Jack climbs to the top of the bean stalk he finds that a mean giant and his kind wife live there. Jack realizes that the giant killed his father and is determined to make the giant pay. Jack takes only what the giant stole from his family and soon the giant meets the same fate Jack’s father did. I love the pictures from this graphic novel and how in the en In this modern spin on a classic tale, Jack sells his mother’s cow for five magic beans, which grow into a sky-high bean stalk overnight. When Jack climbs to the top of the bean stalk he finds that a mean giant and his kind wife live there. Jack realizes that the giant killed his father and is determined to make the giant pay. Jack takes only what the giant stole from his family and soon the giant meets the same fate Jack’s father did. I love the pictures from this graphic novel and how in the end, good prevails over evil.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert Marsh

    Great retelling and cool artwork. It made the list of top 20 books preferred by struggling 4th and 5th grade readers. Renaissance Learning puts out a "What Kids Are Reading" study each year where -- oddly enough -- kids share the titles of the books they most enjoy reading. This book made the 2011 list. And for good reason. If you've got a kids who think they don't like reading -- give them this book and prove them wrong. Great retelling and cool artwork. It made the list of top 20 books preferred by struggling 4th and 5th grade readers. Renaissance Learning puts out a "What Kids Are Reading" study each year where -- oddly enough -- kids share the titles of the books they most enjoy reading. This book made the 2011 list. And for good reason. If you've got a kids who think they don't like reading -- give them this book and prove them wrong.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Harmon

    My class of first graders read this last week during their fairy tales unit. I liked that my mentor teacher used this because it introduced a new kind of genre to them. Most of them had never seen a graphic novel before, and the story was also different from the original fairy tale. This then lead them to looking at the similarities and differences between the two stories, as well as the differences and similarities between the two kinds of novels.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jianna Balascio

    Awards: N/a Grade: 1-5 Summary: Jack buys a magic bean by trading his cow. The bean grows into a castle, where he encounters a giant. Review: This book follows the classic tale. It seems enjoyable for kids, but I personally don't love graphic novels. In Class Use: Classics, fairytales, individual reading Awards: N/a Grade: 1-5 Summary: Jack buys a magic bean by trading his cow. The bean grows into a castle, where he encounters a giant. Review: This book follows the classic tale. It seems enjoyable for kids, but I personally don't love graphic novels. In Class Use: Classics, fairytales, individual reading

  11. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Kelien

    Another classic fairy tale redone as a graphic novel/comic book. This one is actually more like the original book than I remember. I'd recommend it for grades 4 and 5 because their may be some words that younger grades may not know. Another classic fairy tale redone as a graphic novel/comic book. This one is actually more like the original book than I remember. I'd recommend it for grades 4 and 5 because their may be some words that younger grades may not know.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristin King

    In a set borrowed together from the library, my 8 yr old son awarded this tale 5 stars, Hansel & Gretel 1 star and Cinderella 3+ stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Truly

    i love this book and a graphic novel is great too. i love that is is said to be extremely close to one of the original stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peninnah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A good introduction to graphic novels and comics, but the family living happily ever after solely because of their riches didn't sit well with me. A good introduction to graphic novels and comics, but the family living happily ever after solely because of their riches didn't sit well with me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This is a cool series--graphic novelizations of fairy tales. It cuts out on the wordiness that can sometimes accompany a traditional fairy tale. The kids and I both enjoyed this story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donalyn

    A graphic novel retelling of the classic fairy tale.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Mills

    Not as fun as I thought it would be, but I think the kids will enjoy it. I liked the information at the end of the book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tara Carlisle

    A book that would nice intro into juvenile graphic novels. I enjoyed the richly-colored artistic style that this classic fairy tale was portrayed in.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    Cool artwork.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    I liked this retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, but I felt bad for Milky White, the cow.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    The very traditional story with modern illustrations. Nothing to complain about with this straight forward rendition.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    the pictures were really good a very simple children's graphic novel the pictures were really good a very simple children's graphic novel

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Another good fairy-tale-turned-graphic-novel. Good illustrations, but again the dialogue could use some work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Ishaq

    Categories/Genres: Traditional Literature, Fairy tales, Graphic Novel Estimate of age level of interest: Grades 3-6 Estimate of reading level: Grade Level Equivalent- 2.3 Brief description- Jack and his mother are struggling to make ends meet. When Jack trades their cow for a few lousy beans his mother is furious and throws them out the window. Overnight a beanstalk grows high into the sky. What will Jack find? Read this graphic novel to find out! Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre a Categories/Genres: Traditional Literature, Fairy tales, Graphic Novel Estimate of age level of interest: Grades 3-6 Estimate of reading level: Grade Level Equivalent- 2.3 Brief description- Jack and his mother are struggling to make ends meet. When Jack trades their cow for a few lousy beans his mother is furious and throws them out the window. Overnight a beanstalk grows high into the sky. What will Jack find? Read this graphic novel to find out! Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book: 1) Although this book is a graphic novel it sticks to the traditional simple and direct plot structure. As is often the case in folk tales, repetition plays a large role in the story. Jack climbs the beanstalk 3 times, each time facing increasing danger. 2) Graphic novels should have a narrative which is enhanced by the artwork. The text in this retelling of the story is limited and much of the story is told through illustration. This coupled with the fact that many children are already familiar with this tale will make of interest to reluctant and struggling readers. In what ways and how well does the book as a whole serve its intended audience? This book gives a bit of a more exciting feel to a traditional tale. The illustrations look modern, reminiscent of graffiti. This will help to draw in younger readers and hold their attention. The text can be over simplified at times which tends to take away from the story, but this would still be a good addition to a unit on fairy tales. Awards: None Links to published reviews from professional sources: Booklist 11/01/08 Wilson's Children 10/01/10 Library Media Connection 05/01/09 http://www.titlewave.com/search?SID=5...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zack Reagin

    This was a pretty standard telling of Jack and the Beanstalk (or in this case Jack and the Magic Beans). It was helpful for adding a lot of words to my Spanish vocabulary, but wasn't as detailed as some of the versions I'd heard when I was younger. This was a pretty standard telling of Jack and the Beanstalk (or in this case Jack and the Magic Beans). It was helpful for adding a lot of words to my Spanish vocabulary, but wasn't as detailed as some of the versions I'd heard when I was younger.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Jack and the Beanstalk: The Graphic Novel Hoena, Blake * cartoon verson of the old story with nothing new added.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paula Greenfield

    A wonderful retelling of the Jack and the giant.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Love the style of the illustrations and design of the book, in general. Even the endpages are a lovely, swirly, shiny/vinyl-like black.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Garner

    Liked that it gave history of the original story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue

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