cover image Jack


Tomie dePaola. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16154-4

In this small treasure from master storyteller dePaola, a young man named Jack is seen in a half-timbered house, a quill and a candle on the desk behind him. His direct gaze and tranquil half-smile give him the air of a medieval saint. “Grandpa,” he says, “I want to see the world and make new friends and live in a house in the city.” “Why don’t you go to the city and ask the king?” Grandpa suggests kindly. Jack sets off, meeting a series of animals who ask him where he’s going. “We’re going to the city to ask the king for a house,” he tells each one in traditional fairy tale style. Before long he’s assembled a riotous, Bremen Town Musician–like group of animals who moo, bah, oink, and whoo all the way to the city. Their cries, carved on rubber stamps, are scattered on the pages, creating the visual equivalent of a cheerful din. And because it’s a fairy tale, the king gives them a house big enough for everyone. As a bonus, many spreads hide scenes from familiar nursery rhymes, adding to the book’s readaloud charm. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)