Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jack and the Bean Tree


This variant on Jack and the Beanstalk is a pleasure to see and read. Although we found it after Jack and the Fire Dragon, it is the first tale in the series. My youngest loves it even more than Fire Dragon; my oldest loves them both “to infinity.”

Author: Gail E. Haley
Illustrator: Gail E. Haley


Jack and the Fire Dragon


Old Fire Dragaman is about the wickedest
and biggest giant that ever roamed these hills. Some
people believe he dug right up from the center of the
earth bringing fire and brimstone with him. Nothin’
or nobody could stop him, and no one would live in
the places where he hung out. He was famous for
takin’ people’s money and daughters.

Now wouldn’t ye know Jack–that reckless
feller–would run across him?

This book is full of gorgeous pictures, magic, swords, and dragons. Unsurprisingly, it is a huge hit. (Don’t worry about the dialect. It rolls off the tongue quite well, regardless of whether you’ve spent much time in the American South.)

Author: Gail E. Haley
Illustrator: Gail E. Haley


The Emperor’s New Clothes


This clever book doesn’t need much of an introduction. Like The Wild Swans (by the same author, translator, and illustrator), it is a great translation of a classic story with beautiful illustrations.

Author: Naomi Lewis/Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrator: Angela Barrett

Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners


We all enjoy this book about manners. I appreciate the socialization it offers. The boys appreciate… the farting otter. (Hey, at least he says excuse me–in five languages!)

Author: Laurie Keller
Illustrator: Laurie Keller

The Sea-Breeze Hotel


Things are not looking good for the owner and employees of the aptly-named Sea-Breeze Hotel:

“It’s too windy to fish and swim,” moaned the children.
“It’s far too breezy for beachcombing,” the parents
“It’s even too blustery to sit on the balcony,” the
grandparents grumbled.
And they all packed their bags and went away.

But then an employee’s grandson makes a kite to cheer up the hotel owner. Once the other employees see what fun she is having with it, they make kites too. And once people begin to notice the kites circling and soaring overhead, they all want to visit the kite-flying hotel and “[n]ot one person complained about the wind.”

Author: Marcia Vaughan
Illustrator: Patricia Mullins