Tag Archives: Gail E. Haley

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




In this story, a talented, homeless orphan is taken in (in more ways than one) by a bird catcher who deceives her in order to take advantage of her musical ability and kind heart.

This book reminds me a good bit of The Lorax, despite having a very different story and style. Both books show individuals’ choices making a difference and both focus on interactions between individuals and the natural world. The villains in both books are multidimensional, lonely, and even sympathetic characters who lives are warped by greed. Finally, like The Lorax, Birdsong‘s beautiful pictures and unusual story fully capture the boys’ attention.

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