Jack and the Beanstalk
©Nina Crews 2011 Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company ISBN: 9780805087659
Jack receives beans from his neighbor and – lo and behold! – those beans lead him up a beanstalk and into the company of giants. How will he ever get back home? In her innovative photo-collage style, Nina Crews freshens up a beloved children’s tale for today’s young readers.
Kirkus – A contemporary urban version of the ancient tale of beans and boy, with spiky parts rounded off. This Jack gets a jar of brightly colored beans for doing chores for his neighbor, and he plants them beneath his bedroom window right away. Overnight, it grows into a splendid leafy ladder up the side of his apartment building, and after checking it for sturdiness Jack climbs up until he can see the whole city (“WOW!”). Above the clouds, the scent of chocolate-chip cookies lures him to a castle, where he finds a giant admiring himself while his giant wife gives him a pedicure (“I look good. I smell good”). The giants immediately put Jack to work, and after a long day he races down the beanstalk with the golden-egg-laying hen under his arm. When he chops down the stalk, giant and wife tumble down—and lo! They were under a curse, which Jack has broken, and they are just ordinary-sized folk. The images are quite keen, photographs and the occasional line drawing manipulated and layered to shape the story. Mrs. Giant has a fabulous ’50s-print apron with roosters and pots, as well as lots of jewelry, and Mr. struts in boots and vest, with a red bandanna in his pocket.
Crews’ fans will be delighted; others will be drawn in by the nifty mix of folktale and photo-collage. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)
The Neighborhood Sing-Along
©Nina Crews 2011 Greenwillow Books, HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 9780061850639
• Bank Street Children’s Book Committee – Building Blocks Selection for Children Five & Under
Playground songs and classroom songs, silly songs and sweet songs, wake–up songs and bedtime songs… Everyday, children, parents, friends, brothers, and sisters sing songs to one another.
Nina Crews brings her energetic style of illustration to this collection of thirty-four perennial favorites. From “Miss Mary Mack” (watching fireworks from her balcony) to “London Bridge” (built by a brother and sister in the living room) to “Skip to My Lou (in a rolling green park), the songs make this companion to the acclaimed The Neighborhood Mother Goose a treasure for every child in the neighborhood.
Kirkus Reviews – “A collection that begs to be sung in all neighborhoods—city stoops or country front-porch swings alike.” (Picture book. 3-6)