I absolutely loved the first book using these characters, Rapunzel's Revenge, so I was really excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel to that graphic novel. This book focuses on Jack, Rapunzel's sidekick. It was a fun read but not as good as the first one.
In this book we get some of Jack's history and some background on why he was on the run with a goose in Rapunzel's Revenge. Then Jack and Rapunzel return to Jack's hometown to faceoff with the giants.
I didn't like Jack as much as a main character as I liked Rapunzel...he is just too much of a goof. That being said the story was still well done and very amusing. I enjoyed the humorous Wildwest retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale. The artwork was wonderful and well done. The story moves quickly and is very engaging. This story had a bit more of a steampunk tinge to it than the first book did.
If you liked Rapunzel's Revenge you would enjoy this book. If you like fairy tale retellings or full-color graphic novels full of humor; then you will like this book. I didn't think the story was quite as engaging as Rapunzel's Revenge; but it was still a lot of fun! I look forward to more graphic novels by the
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
Jack has long been a trickster - he's just not had the best of luck. When a heist involving magic beans, a beanstalk, and giants goes wrong, Jack leaves town. After his adventures with Rapunzel (in RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE), Jack returns home to Shyport only to discover that the giant, Blunderboar, is in charge, the city is in ruins thanks to an infestation of ant people, and his mother is being held captive and is in charge of baking bones into bread. It's up to Jack and Rapunzel to save the day!
I'm often asked to give booktalks on great books for tweens and I always inlcude the Hale's first graphic novel outing, RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE (and now CALAMITY JACK!). These two books are a librarian's dream come true! The Hales combine witty dialogue, action and adventure, beautifully detailed artwork, and lots of humor to create the perfect graphic novel. I would give this one to anyone who is not convinced in the value of graphic novels or anyone who's a newbie to the style. (And of course old fans, too!)
The fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk is given the steampunk treatment in CALAMITY JACK, and those looking for a great adventure read will devour this one. There's even a cute bit of romance thrown in, so I think this book will have wide appeal. It is a sequel to RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE, but readers don't necessarily have to read the first one to pick this one up. The book starts with Jack's past and gives us a little information on how Jack and Rapunzel met, so I doubt readers will feel lost.
As I mentioned, the dialogue is very witty - there were a few lines I just had to read aloud to my husband because they were too great to keep to myself. The artwork is very detailed - young Jack is pictured with his tongue out while thinking and we get a glimpse that he hasn't lost this habit as an adult. It's this attention to detail that make the art stand out. The text and illustrations pair perfectly and work together, which makes this an excellent example of a graphic novel. (And be sure to check out the inside cover page for a peek at our authors and illustrator snuck into the artwork.)
This is a book to share, to pass around to friends, and re-read, because each time you'll see something new. I'm hoping we can look forward to more graphic novels from this creative team - I'd love to see their take on other fairy tales.