Friday, February 7, 2014

[BOOK REVIEW] Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale

Title:  Calamity Jack

Authors:  Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

Artist:  Nathan Hale

Genre: Fairy Tale / Adventure / Romance / Retelling

Year Published: 2010

Year Read: 2010

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Series: Rapunzel’s Revenge #2

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 6+ (Fight Scenes)

“Calamity Jack” is a brilliant sequel to Shannon and Dean Hale’s ever popular classic “Rapunzel’s Revenge” and this graphic novel is a great retelling of the classic fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk.” “Calamity Jack” is one of the most brilliant sequels that both adults and children will love for ages.

Ever since Jack was a little child, he would always scheme to take other people’s possessions to the distress of his hardworking mother.  One day, however, a giant named Blunderboar came in to Jack’s mother’s store and while he brought some bread from her, his head smashes the top of the doorway to the store, which upset both Jack and his mother since Blunderboar refused to pay for the damage and Jack and his mother did not have enough money to fix it.

So Jack hatched a plan to go into Blunderboar’s penthouse to steal his goose to get back at Blunderboar, unfortunately Jack does not know how to get into Blunderboar’s penthouse.  So, Jack buys some magic beans from a mysterious person and when Jack threw the beans into the ground, they grew into a beanstalk and Jack was able to climb onto the beanstalk and get inside Blunderboar’s penthouse and steal the goose that laid the golden eggs.  Unfortunately, the beanstalk ending up uprooting Blunderboar’s penthouse and Jack accidentally killed one of Blunderboar’s henchmen when he was trying to cut down the beanstalk to stop it from uprooting Blunderboar’s penthouse.  After Jack escapes from the city, Blunderboar is furious and he vows to get back at Jack at all costs.

Now that Jack has met up with Rapunzel in the last book, he and Rapunzel go back to Jack’s hometown and they discovered that Blunderboar has taken over the city while vicious ant people terrorize the citizens.  Along with their new ally, Freddie, Rapunzel and Jack try to save the people from Blunderboar’s tyranny.

Shannon and Dean Hale have done it again in this classic retelling of a popular tale “Jack and the Beanstalk” and they made Jack in this tale just as shrewd and cunning as his original version and children will love the “Jack and the Beanstalk” reference in this book as it is more modernized since Jack lives in a city in this version.  Also, Shannon and Dean Hale has done a superb job at telling the story from Jack’s point of view instead of Rapunzel’s, making the audience relate more to Jack as he struggles to become one of the good guys.  Nathan Hale’s illustrations are much more improved in this book as the characters look much smoother than in “Rapunzel’s Revenge” as Jack and Rapunzel’s faces look much smoother and less rough.  Also, Nathan Hale makes the scenery much different in this book as the book takes place in a city rather than the western ranch city in “Rapunzel’s Revenge” and the city looks like a city from the 1600s.

“Calamity Jack” is a great sequel to a brilliant retelling of a classic fairy tale that adults and children will love for many years.  I would recommend this book from children ages six and up since small children might not understand the fairy tale parody in this book.

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