FEE FI FO FUM!
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.
★ 05/22/2017Publishers 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)
Praise for The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague:
"Animated with drama and deadpan wit, Teague's large-scale oil paintings show up
very well from a distance, making this a good story-hour choice." -- Booklist
Praise for Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague:
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
* "Hilarious. . . Ike is a hero!" -- Booklist, starred review
Praise for How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague:
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
* "A delight from start to finish; better buy more than one." -- Booklist, starred review
Praise for Pigsty by Mark Teague:
* "Teague is once again right on target. . .with his idiosyncratic brand of sly humor." -- Publishers Weekly, starred reviewFrom the Publisher
06/01/2017School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—When 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 straw—he 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
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)