Cover image for Jack and the seven deadly giants
Jack and the seven deadly giants
Swope, Sam.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
Physical Description:
99 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
While hoping to find his mother, Jack encounters seven deadly giants: the Giant Poet, the Terrible Glutton, Mrs. Roth, the Wild Tickler, Avaritch, Orgulla the Great, and the Green Queen.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.8 2.0 80837.
Added Author:
Format :


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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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In this reinvention of a favorite folktale, a youngster faces the overgrown manifestations of the seven traditional human failings (including Sloth, the would-be poet), all of whom come roaring to life in striking black-and-white pictures.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-4. Within this slim, trim novel lies an inventive melange of "Jack the Giant Killer" and the Seven Deadly Sins. Jack is a foundling who finds himself an outcast. Accompanied by a surprisingly helpful cow, he roams the land, outsmarting such enormous creatures as Sloth, a giant would-be poet; Terrible Glutton, whom Jack convinces to eat himself; and two-headed Tickler, who sounds a bit like the low-IQ giants of Roald Dahl's The BFG0 . Swope's concise, graceful language is well matched by Cneut's wild illustrations, which have the same off-kilter spirit (albeit with none of the wonderful colors) as his acclaimed work in Malachy Doyle's 0 picture book Antonio on the Other Side of the World, Getting Smaller 0 (2003). Here, making the most of a much smaller page, he is similarly playful with scale and strange angles. The book's finale is satisfying and sweet: Jack gets the best life a boy could imagine--along with a big surprise that involves his faithful cow. --Abby Nolan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In an unlikely and pleasing combination, Swope's (The Araboolies of Liberty Street) tale draws on two staples-one from the nursery and one from the Bible. The story stars Jack of beanstalk fame, who uses his wit to outsmart villains manifesting the Seven Deadly Sins. Jack, the village "bad boy," was left as a baby on the miller's doorstep. At the book's sprightly start, the boy leaves town when the minister (who has recently preached about the Seven Deadly Sins) tells Jack that the "seven deadly giants" rumored to live nearby would surely "be the ruination of them all"-and that Jack was to blame, since "bad attracts bad." The itinerant boy shares an apple with a "funny little man," who gives Jack a magic bean that will grant him one wish. Jack's wish for his long-lost mother instead produces a cow, on whose back he rides as he encounters each of the giants in turn. Some of the riffs on sin are cleverer than others, and adults will likely appreciate them most; a few standouts-a gluttonous giant devours himself, greedy Avaritch gives Jack a comeuppance of his own, and "lust" takes the subtle form of a two-headed "Wild Tickler." The story concludes with a satisfying twist that reveals Jack's background, and Cneut's (The Amazing Love Story of Mr. Morf) chapter openers-full-page, stylized halftone pictures-make the most of the septet's shortcomings, taking playful liberty with proportion and perspective. Ages 7-10. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Jack, who was left as a baby on the miller's doorstep, has been dubbed a bad boy by the entire village. So it is not surprising that he is blamed when giants threaten the land. Feeling horrible about himself and wanting to keep the town from harm, he strikes out on his own. His kindness to a stranger yields him one wish. More than anything, Jack wants his mother. He is puzzled when a cow appears, but climbs onto her back, sitting "the wrong way round, so he could look at all the places he had been and be surprised by anyplace he got." As he travels, he meets and foils seven gruesome giants-creatures that personify the seven deadly sins-and cleverly uses each one's flaw to cause his or her defeat. When Jack does away with the mightily mean Green Queen, he unwittingly removes the spell that was long ago placed on his mother, and she changes from a cow back into a human. She assumes her rightful position as Queen, making him the Prince. Elements of traditional literature combine with sometimes over-the-top humor as the boy outwits each giant. For example, the Terrible Glutton lets loose with "a fart so huge that it- blew a crater in the ground, and knocked Jack off his feet." The outlandish tone is sometimes reminiscent of Roald Dahl's work. The plot details and use of language are often clever as the story comes full circle to its satisfying conclusion. Semi-abstract, black-and-white sketches punctuate the absurdity of the tale.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.