Monday, November 19, 2012

Giants Have Feelings, Too

Giants Have Feelings, Too: Jack and the Beanstalk Retold (Another Point of View)is another Dr. Alvin Granowsky Point of View book published by Steck-Vaughn. The format continues with the traditional Jack in the Beanstalk Story told on one side and the giant's story told when you flip the book upside down.

One thing I noticed as I reviewed this book is the font and the illustrations are very different for the two stories. The illustrations in Jack's stories are bright and vivid. The font is very traditional. The Giant's story has more of a cartoon style and a different font designed to set the story apart.

Any child who has heard the story of Jack in the Beanstalk will be familiar with the traditional version. The second tale ponders questions that have been raised for generations. Is Jack a hero or a thief? Was it OK for Jack to steal from the Giants and because they were giants? Since the story is told from the Giant's perspective, it does not begin with the magic beans and the cow, but with the first encounter between Jack and the Giants. The Giant's wife makes a very clear case that she and her husband Herbert were taken advantage of by Jack and as a result lost all of the treasures they accumulated through hard work and sacrifice. She even expresses hope at one point in the story that Jack's mother will not want her boy to prosper from stealing and have him return what he has stolen.

This book would be the basis for a very lively debate even among older children who may believe they are past the age for reading fairy tales. The issues are very interesting and some students may never have considered the questions raised by the Giant's wife.

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