Most kids grow up knowing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. They know how he climbed the giant beanstalk and stole goods from the giant. What many of us don't know is what happened to Jack after he got back. In this twisted fairy tale we learn about Nick, who comes years after Jack. He's a thief out of necessity to fill his belly and to survive in a world where he has no one but himself. When Nick gets connected to an evil gang of men his only choice is to break into a gigantic home and steal the treasures inside. When Nick climbs in and makes his way to the center of the home he's shocked to discover paintings that tell the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. He sees the Golden Hen and tries to steal it, only to come face to face with Jack, who fills him in on what’s happened since he came down the stalk and shares a deep regret he has about the incident. Nick gets to see the magic bean, and when the opportunity arises, he takes it. Outside he drops the bean and an enormous beanstalk sprouts up before his eyes. The energy from the plant is extraordinary, and he begins the climb to the top. The giant Jack had encountered may be gone, but that doesn't mean there aren’t giants at the top. The creatures have many ways to terrorize young thieves. Can Jack right the wrongs of his pilfering? Will Nick be able to get the treasure he so desires? Is there any way to make it back down the stalk alive? Your questions will continue to grow as you turn the pages!
The Thief and the Beanstalk by P.W. Catanese is the third Further Tales Adventure I’ve read by this author. I couldn't wait to pick up another one! I was just as enchanted with this story and it brought back memories of the version I had heard of Jack and the Beanstalk. I liked that the main character is one I could sympathize with even though he was a thief. It was also fun getting to learn what happened to Jack after he came down to earth. I was on the edge of my seat through most of this book because the bad guys were so bad! I recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up who like fantasy. A great book to bring out discussion about fairy tales and what happened to characters after-the-fact.
As anyone else read The Thief and the Beanstalk? Or have you read another book by P.W. Catanese? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
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