Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wham blam hickity hack! Book Review

Jack and the beanstalk was one of the fairy tales I pulled to use for the book battles before spring break. I had the pile of books ready to go and decided that even my very youngest students should get in on the fairy tale action.  I had a kindergarten class at the end of the day on the last day before spring break.  I gave them five choices to vote from and I was surprised that Look Out, Jack! The Giant Is Back!  by Tom Birdseye won.  It beat out two fractured tales with dinosaurs for crying out loud!

I'd like to think my dramatic telling of the story is what kept their rapt attention, but the story itself is very well written.  It's very easy for students to make connections between this tale and the original, at the same time this title stands completely on its own.  In this post-fairy tale, Jack is being chased by the giant's brother. Familiarity hits when this giant is given a similar refrain when approaching Jack,

"Wham blam hickity hack!
I'm gonna get that boy named Jack!
He now be living, but soon he'll roast!
I'll spread him with mustard, and eat him on toast!"
Jack's trickery includes cooking a great feast for this giant.  All that Southern cooking had the students rubbing their bellies (myself included).  Jack tricks the giant into eating all this food to end up with a HUGE belly ache!  My kindergartners loved being able to predict that one.  No one saw this next part coming--the giant takes off his shoes and uses his smelly feet to get even with Jack!  

The picture of the smelly feet will have anyone exclaiming, "EWWWWW!"  The illustrations throughout the whole book help the story along, giving it that fairy tale--old world feel, but livening it up with beautiful bright colors. The majority are two page spreads or one that takes liberties with the vertical versus horizontal (how else are you gonna get the idea of the size of a giant?!)  

This book was a huge hit and it allowed for more in-depth comprehension due to the outlandish happenings and silly humor.

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