Review also includes:
Jack and the Beanstalk, 978-0192791528
Last autumn saw a retrospective exhibition in London of Ian Beck’s illustrations for children’s books over the past 20 years, and readers familiar with his style will not be disappointed with these retellings of childhood classics. In The Enormous Turnip both the narrative and the pictures capture especially well the old gardener’s attempts to prise from his garden the ginormous turnip he has cultivated. In Jack and the Beanstalk it is the illustrations of the giant, alive and dead, that are particularly striking and a little scary for young readers: ‘The giant, being so heavy, made such a hole that he fell right through the earth and was never seen again.’ Beck has a knack of juxtaposing warm, simple images of people at work and play with extraordinary attention to detail in his drawing of the natural world.