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It's Not About the Beanstalk!: Easy-to-Read Wonder Tales    by Veronika Martenova Charles & David Parkins order for
It's Not About the Beanstalk!
by Veronika Martenova Charles
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's Not About the Beanstalk! is one in a series of 'Easy-To-Read Wonder Tales!' written by Veronika Martenova Charles, and illustrated by David Parkins.

When Jake's friends Lily and Ben show up to play, his mother sends them to join him in the backyard, where he's preparing to climb a tree. 'Like in Jack and the Beanstalk' says Ben, but Jake tells him it was really a bean tree and proceeds to tell his version of the story.

In Jack's (Appalachian) version, the boy climbs the tree to meet his godmother, who tells him how a giant killed his father and stole his treasure. She also gives him a password to get into the giant's house, where the giant's wife hides and helps him. He escapes with the hen that lays the golden egg.

Next, Ben tells a Norwegian version, Olaf and the Troll (in which Olaf is repeatedly endangered by envious brothers). And Lily recounts the Scottish Molly and the Giant (in which a girl saves herself and her two sisters). Afterwards Jake does try to climb the tree (which is not a chocolate bean tree).

This cute story is a good choice for early readers, who just might come up with their own versions of Jack and the Beanstalk after reading these three.

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