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Cover image for Jack : the true story of Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack : the true story of Jack and the Beanstalk

Publication Information:
[New York] : Listening Library, [2015]
Physical Description:
7 audio discs (7 hr., 58 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Title from label.

Compact discs.
Relates the tale of Jack who, after trading his mother's milk cow for magic beans, climbs a beanstalk to seek his missing father in the land of giants.
Reading Level:
Added Author:


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Fairy tale fans will give a GIANT cheer for this funny retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk from the New York Times Bestselling author of Rump and Red

All his life, Jack has longed for an adventure, so when giants turn up in the neighbor's cabbage patch, he is thrilled Soon Jack is chasing them to a land beyond the clouds, with his little sister, Annabella, in tow. The kingdom of giants is full of super-sized fun: puddings to swim in, spoons to use as catapults, monster toads to carry off pesky little sisters. . . .
But Jack and Annabella are on a mission. The king of the giants has taken something that belongs to them, and they'll do anything--even dive into a smelly tureen of green bean soup--to get it back.

"Liesl Shurtliff has the uncanny ability to make magical worlds feel utterly real, and the best part is: you don't even need a beanstalk to visit them ." --Tim Federle, author of Better Nate than Ever

"A delightful story of family, perseverance, and courage. " --Booklist

From the Hardcover edition.

Author Notes

Liesl Shurtliff is the writer of RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin, a New York Times Best Seller in 2016, a Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, and awarded the International Reading Association Children's and Young Adult Book Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-7-Jack is a prankster who takes nothing seriously until his papa is snatched up by giants. Jack climbs the famous beanstalk and discovers a land where he and his kind are considered elves and giants are regular folk. Narrator Bruce Mann uses pitch, volume, and intonation to fill Jack's voice with angst while mixing it with wonder at the everyday items such as spoons and shoes that are now big enough for him to play on or reside in. Jack makes many friends, some of whom are "elves" like himself, while others are kindhearted giants like Martha "King Barth's" royal cook. Mann easily transitions between voices, and his female vocalizations, including Martha and Jack's little sister, Annabella, are pitched perfectly. His thoughtful narration captures the whimsy and charm of the story. VERDICT Sure to be popular for family road trips and embraced by listeners of all ages.-Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MI © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Dirt is raining from the sky, but it's no weird weather phenomenon. Giants have come and stolen half of Jack's town. When he gets to the giant world, Jack will have to brave everything from a jumbo toad to a gold-obsessed king to rescue his father. Shurtliff (Rump) once again uses her fertile imagination to add unforgettable new details to a well-loved classic. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Boom! Boom! Boom! Giants are real! Jack sees them slide down from Above to raid his farm. Worse, they take his Papa. Inspired by stories about his seven-greats-grandfather, Jack the Giant Killer, Jack vows to climb Above to rescue his Papa. After he grows a giant beanstalk he has the means. Only he hadn't been expecting his bothersome little sister, Annabella, to tag along. In a land where even a bird poses a threat and poisonous pixies abound, this actually turns out to be a good thing. Annabella has a way with animals and understands the pixies. New friend Tom Thumb helps too. Shurtliff skillfully weaves Jack's tale together with other classics about giants and elves as well as her own previous book, Rump (2013). It turns out that the kingdom Jack enters belongs to King Barf, and the reason for the giants' raids is famine. Greedy King Barf is using magic to create gold, and the magic is pulling all the power out of growing things. If the story meanders a bit and the moral about treasuring what we grow feels tacked on, there are still enough boisterous adventures about a wee boy (and girl) overcoming big obstacles and defeating greed to keep youngsters hooked. Fans of retold fairy tales will be well-satisfied. (author's note) (Fantasy. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

All his life, he has heard stories about giants, and 12-year-old Jack knows he is meant for greatness. So when giants climb down out the sky and steal most of his town crops, cows, houses, even his father! Jack is determined to find a way to get to their world and stage a rescue. As we all know, he climbs a beanstalk to the giants' world. What we may not have thought of, and what Shurtliff illustrates so well, is what it would be like to be a kid in a giant's world. Suddenly, Jack is small enough to ride a mouse or be chased by an eagle; short distances become vast; and it's nearly impossible for his voice to be heard. Putting a unique spin on the familiar in a manner reminiscent of Donna Jo Napoli's work, this tale explores perspective, compassion, and resilience in an unobtrusive way. Shurtliff's second fairy-tale endeavor, following Rump (2013), soars into the sky and is a delightful story of family, perseverance, and courage.--Moore, Melissa Copyright 2015 Booklist