Jack and the Beanstalk by Nina Crews

Nina Crews is well known for her photocollage style. Here, she offers a modernized version of an old tale, Jack and the Beanstalk. Jack is visibly disappointed when Mrs. M gives him multicolored beans instead of money after a day of work. Mrs. M tells him the beans are valuable and urges him to plant them right away. You know what happens next, so I'll tell you a few things that make this version stand out.

The vivid photos were manipulated with Adobe Photoshop. We see the lush, green vine outside Jack’s window the next morning, and we get nervous seeing what Crews wants us to see, a boy sitting at the tip of a huge beanstalk. Enlarged words like “Wow!” in green and blue invite the reader to interact with the story.

The setting of this version will lend itself to discussions about place and inclusion. Not to get too deep, but just as a way to help students think about what surrounds this beanstalk, especially when Jack has an aerial view of apartments, streets, buildings, and streetlamps.

Note: This book will be available in July. See an interesting interview with Ms. Crews.