Reviews for Look Out, Jack! the Giant Is Back


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 2001
Ages 5-8. Kids who thought Jack did away with the "fee-fi-fo-fum giant" when the beanstalk came down are in for a surprise. According to Birdseye, "not more than ten minutes later," the giant's big brother, even uglier and meaner than his sibling, picked up Jack's trail and followed him to America, where the boy and his mom set up housekeeping on a nice little farm. "Wham blam hickity hack! I'm gonna get that boy named Jack!" declares the giant, shown on a double-page spread in horizontal splendor, complete with purple coat and hairy tummy. The comedy is a bit tame, with the fun mostly in the down-home twang of the telling and occasional departure into rhyme, and in the pictures, especially those of the giant with a grand case of indigestion. Just right for small groups. ((Reviewed September 1, 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
Jack of Beanstalk fame, lately moved to North Carolina, hatches a plan to preserve his gold-egg-laying goose and other loot from the vengeance of the giantÆs older brother. Plenty of tall-tale humor and some Southern home cooking ensure that Jack once again makes a clean getaway. Perfect for story time, this fast-moving trickster tale features witty mixed-media art. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2001 September #1
Clever Jack of English folklore has stolen the hen that lays golden eggs, the harp that sings, and bags of money. He has slain the giant who followed him down the beanstalk and lived happily ever after-not. In this fractured tale there is more to the story. Jack has sailed to America with his mother and the aforementioned purloined objects. All is well as they settle on a nice little farm in the mountains of North Carolina and "Life was good and peaceful, and oh so fragrant." When the giant's older brother arrives on the mountaintop, the story leaps into action. Birdseye's (The Eye of the Stone, not reviewed, etc.) folksy style of storytelling uses an American vernacular full of tall-tale exaggerations and dramatic page turns. Jack has a plan to distract the giant from eating him by overfeeding him. And feed him he does-piles of fried chicken, heaps of boiled okra, one thousand biscuits, six hundred pounds of mashed potatoes and huge heaps of coleslaw. Chased with ninety-nine gallons of apple cider. The giant is so close to puking he can't even move, let alone grab clever Jack. Kids will revel in the gross pictures and the equally disgusting belching and the giant's secret weapon, stinky feet. Hillenbrand's (Pre-School to the Rescue, p. 338, etc.) mixed media, illustrations-tempera, colored pencils, crayon, and oil paint on vellum-create an a soft almost marbleized palate of spring greens and changing skies. Great fun. (Picture book 5-8)Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 September #2
Fee-fi-fo-fum, this post-fairy tale/tall tale is just humdrum. Birdseye (Airmail to the Moon) employs some awkward contrivances ("Jack and his mama... hopped on a boat to America") to move this Jack and the Beanstalk continuation to a colorful homey setting in North Carolina. The late giant's big brother shows up on U.S. shores, too, eager to retrieve the coins, harp and hen that lays golden eggs, which he believes are rightly his. Jack and his mother plan to outwit the giant using some good Southern cooking, though the mangy guy fights back in a goofy development involving smelly feet. Kids may love the raucous mountain phrases tossed around and the silly crescendo here, but Birdseye's forced story line and descriptions never really gel. Hillenbrand's (The Last Snake in Ireland) mixed media artwork (crayon, colored pencil, oil) on the other hand, soars. He captures the rambunctious nature of the author's premise, all the while depicting Jack as a sweet-faced kid with more than a few tricks up his sleeve. The details Jack's ramshackle home, the rolling mountains and a pair of putrid green giant feet (cracked toenails and all) supply the comedy. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 October
Gr 1-4-In this rollicking sequel to "Jack and the Beanstalk," the giant is dead, but his big brother is out for revenge. The boy and his mother hightail it to the mountains of North Carolina and settle down. Mr. Giant ("twice the size of the little one, ten times as nasty, and as ugly as slug pie") doesn't let a little thing like distance get in his way. It's a close call but Jack takes command of the situation and the angry Mr. G. stomps so hard that the mountain falls in and swallows him up. Hillenbrand captures the spirit of the text with lively, humor-filled illustrations done in a variety of media including pencils, inks, tempera, crayons, and oils. "Wham blam hickity hack!"-readers will love this tale about Jack.-Janie Schomberg, Leal Elementary School, Urbana, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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