Fantasy Book Review: Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk

Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff

All work and no play makes Jack extremely bored. And when Jack gets bored, he makes mischief. It’s not that he’s bad; he just longs for adventure—and there’s nothing adventurous about toiling day and night to grow yucky green stuff.

Adventure finally arrives one day in the form of giants, and soon Jack is chasing them to a land beyond the clouds, with his little sister, Annabella, in tow. The kingdom of giants is full of slugs the size of sheep, venomous pixies as tall as grown men, and a chatty cook with the biggest mouth Jack has ever seen. There’s giant fun to be had, too: puddings to swim in, spoons to use as catapults, monster toads to carry off pesky little sisters. . . .

But Jack and Annabella are on a mission. The king of the giants has taken something that belongs to them, and they’ll do anything—even dive into a smelly tureen of green bean soup—to get it back.

Jack is an adventurous boy who likes to pull pranks, which often gets him in trouble. He longs to live up to his namesake – Jack the Giant Slayer and be a brave adventurer rather than a simple farm boy. And when his father is taken up to the land of the giants, it seems Jack will get the chance.

Jack: The True Story of Jack & the Beanstalk is a cute and light-hearted, fairy tale adventure. If readers have read Rump, they will notice some overlapping characters introduced in a unique way. However, Jack is a wholly standalone novel. I love Rump, so I was eager for Jack to release. And surprisingly, this had a completely different feel at times – think Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. With plenty of humor, suspense, and fun characters – this inspired take on the Jack fairy tales is completely enjoyable.

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