Cover image for A bean, a stalk, and a boy named Jack
A bean, a stalk, and a boy named Jack
Joyce, William, 1957- , author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Moonbot Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A magic bean and an ordinary boy solve a royal problem for King Blah Blah Blah.
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
West Seneca Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lake Shore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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When a king's pinky grows stinky, it is up to a smallish boy and a smallish pea to come up with a GIANT plan to save the kingdom--a fractured fairy tale from William Joyce and Moonbot Studios, the masterminds who brought you The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore .

You might think you know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but you might want to think again. In this fairy tale with a twist, it hasn't rained in days and the king has dictated that something must be done--his royal pinky is getting stinky! With a little magic from a wizard, young Jack, paired with his pea pod pal, will find a GIANT reason as to why there's no water left in the kingdom...and prove that size doesn't prevent anyone from doing something BIG.

Author Notes

Author and illustrator, William Joyce was born December 11, 1957. He attended Southern Methodist University.

He has written and illustrated many award-winning picture books. His first published title was Tammy and the Gigantic Fish. His other titles include George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob, Santa Calls, The Leaf Men, A Day with Wilbur Robinson, Bently and Egg, and Rolie Polie Olie. In addition to writing and illustrating, he also works on movies based on his books.

Among other awards, he has received a Golden Kite Award Honor Book for Illustration and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. In addition, he received two Annie awards for his Rolie Polie Olie series on the Disney Channel. He also won an Academy Award in 2012 for the category of Best Animated Short Film for for his work: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. He made The New York Times Best Seller List with his title The Numberlys.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A little bean emerges from a little pod. Meanwhile, a smallish kid named Jack keeps a cow on the family farm. But the kingdom is experiencing a drought, and King Blah Blah Blah diverts the only water, his subjects' tears, to wash his little finger. Princess Blah Blah Blah contacts a local wizard, who zaps Jack's bean, and magic is afoot. The bean is planted, a stalk grows, and Jack and the princess ascend to meet a little boy giant, Don, who donates his bathwater to the cause. The kingdom newly drenched, Jack and the princess, now calling herself Jill, fetch a pail and that's the end . . . sorta. Joyce and Callicutt, working together in seamless mixed media, achieve a cinematic background, with expansive, bleed-edge compositions over low horizons, on which the sprightly characters ply their magic. Dramatic spreads alternate with occasional white pages of minimal text, maintaining a crisp, fabulous pace. Children who know Jack, and children meeting him for the first time, will enjoy this brisk, bubbly, spirited outing.--Barthelmess, Thom Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Joyce (The Numberlys) dispenses with the scarier parts of Jack and the Beanstalk (no "Fee fi fo fum" here), stringing old and new elements together with chatty narration and dialogue. In this version, there's a drought in the kingdom where Jack lives, a special problem for the royal court: "The king's royal pinky had become stinky." Joyce and newcomer Callicutt give their cast rounded heads that make them resemble Playmobil figures, including the bearded wizard whose ultralong beard deposits a talking bean in Jack's hand. "Hey, I'm a smallish magic bean," the bean says. "Hey, I'm a smallish regular kid," says Jack. The beanstalk leads to a "smallish giant kid named Don" whose overlong bath is responsible for the drought ("So Don..." "Yeah, Jack?" "Been in the tub long?"). Fast pacing and fresh visuals provide continuous laughs and entertainment as Joyce and Callicut drive home a lighthearted message that smallish kids (and beans) can bring about big change. As a bonus, the ending suggests that additional fairy-tale reimaginings could be in store-here's hoping. Ages 3-6. Agent: Michael Siegel, Michael Siegel & Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-The latest addition to Joyce's series has a more tenuous connection to childhood legends than previous titles. Whether intended as a riff on "Jack and the Beanstalk" or as an entirely other creation, the book fails to amuse or engage. There are obvious connections to the folktale. There's a boy named Jack; a bean (which looks like a pea); a magical, prodigiously growing beanstalk; and a journey to a land of giants. There are also many elements not to be found in the old story: a king named King Blah Blah Blah and a princess named Princess Blah Blah Blah (just in case it's funnier the second time around). The king has a stinky pinky, and the giant whom Jack eventually encounters also has a stinky pinky (in case that's funnier the second time around). There's a redheaded bird with a black body who happens to be in every illustration for no discernible reason. These additions pad the book's length but don't add much substance to the narrative. The artwork-a collaboration between Joyce and newcomer Callicutt-is far superior to the text, particularly on the spreads. Expansive skies, strewn with mysterious cloud formations and the explosively burgeoning beanstalk have enough energy to spill off the pages. That's especially appropriate for a work that might actually be more successful as an interactive ebook.- Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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