Jack and the Beanstalk

Written by Carol Sorgen

Reviewed by Joshua H. (age 7)

Jack and the Beanstalk illustration will appear here.

Once upon a time there was a very poor young boy who had to get money to buy food for him and his mother. They had a cow and they tried to sell the milk to earn money, but one day, when Jack went to town, he met a man who asked "Do you want to sell that cow?" Jack answered "Yes, do you have money?" The man replied "I have something better than money, I have magic beans!" Jack said "I don't need the magic beans, I need money" but the man said "These are magic beans and if they don't grow tomorrow I'll give you back your cow." So Jack took the beans home and he told his mother "I've got magic beans" and his mother got angry and yelled "We need money not stupid beans." They went to sleep and the next morning Jack woke up and he looked out the window and he saw a beanstalk that went up to the sky. Jack was curious and hungry and so went up the beanstalk and found a giant's house. He found an old woman and asked her for something to eat and while he was eating some breakfast, the giant came inside and went THUMP THUMP THUMP and Jack was scared and hid in the oven. When the giant fell asleep, Jack stole a bag of gold and he climbed down the beanstalk and he said to his mother "I got money" and his mother said "Good, we can get food now." When they ran out of gold, Jack went to the giant's house again and he stole a hen that lays golden eggs. He climbed down the beanstalk and told his mother that he has a magic hen that lays golden eggs. Every time Jack says "lay" the hen lays a golden egg. A little while later, Jack was curious what else the giant had, so he went up the beanstalk one more time and he stole the giant's golden harp. This time it was really close, when Jack climbed down the beanstalk this time, the giant came running after him while the harp was yelling "Master! Master." Luckily, the giant was scared to climb down because he was afraid to fall. Jack yelled to his mother to bring the ax and they chopped the beanstalk down and the giant fell down and that was the end of the giant. Jack and his mother lived there with the golden harp and the hen that lays golden eggs and they lived happily ever after.

I thought this book was pretty good because Jack was really brave when he climbs up the beanstalk and goes to the giant's house and steals the giant's stuff. I thought it was exciting and funny when Jack is running down the beanstalk and has his mother bring the ax to chop down the beanstalk to kill the giant. I liked the illustrations because they looked like real life. One thing I didn't like was how Jack was stealing, because if you steal stuff the cops will chase you. It made me angry when the giant was yelling "Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman" and when the giant and his wife were fighting all the time and the giant was ordering his wife to bring him young boys. I didn't like that part because it was scary and I don't like thinking about a giant eating young boys on toast. I also liked how we looked on the internet to find out who first wrote this story and learned that it was first written in 1890!

I would read this book to kids who are below Kindergarten-age, and I would recommend this book to teachers to read to themselves and to their students. I would also recommend this book to kids who are learning to read because they could keep reading it until they learn how to read the whole thing. I recommend the Spaghetti Book Club for kids who want to find a good book to read. I'm going to tell my brother to read this book because I think he'll enjoy reading about Jack and his beanstalk.

Joshua H. is a member in New York Cares/Island School Reading Club's Spring 2007 (2006-2007)