• Title: Wicked Jack
  • Author: Will Hillenbrand, Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge
  • Released: 1997-03-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 0
  • ISBN: 0613950186
  • ISBN13: 978-0613950183
  • ASIN: 0613950186
From Publishers Weekly Narrated with a breezy Southern twang, this pleasingly tart picture book by a first-time author tells of a man so mean that even the Devil is afraid of him. Wicked Jack's favorite trick is to invite unsuspecting strangers in for a bite to eat, then practice his dastardly tricks on them. So when a crippled man passes by, Jack lures him into his cottage with false kindness and is just about to begin his pranks when the stranger turns into Saint Peter and grants him three wishes. Saint Peter says these are "three of the sorriest wishes I ever did hear of," but they enable Jack to one-up the Devil when he pays Jack a call. Jack, however, proves the chief victim of his own nastiness?after he dies, he is welcome in neither Heaven nor Hell, and must wander the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina with a piece of coal. Hillenbrand (Asher and the Capmakers) captures the slapstick humor of this feisty read-aloud with great verve in his finely wrought illustrations, rendered in graphite, oils, oil pastels and "a smudge of coal." His characters are both idiosyncratic and lassic, giving the book the feel of a well-loved fairy tale. Intelligent and fun, with a moral thrown in for good measure. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate edition.

From School Library Journal Kindergarten-Grade 3?From the first page, readers are sure to realize that this is one of those great spooky-funny books where they're laughing too hard to ever be really scared. Those familiar with Appalachian folklore will know the story of Wicked Jack, who accidentally does a nice turn for St. Peter and is given three wishes. Of course Jack, "...meaner than a rattlesnake," comes up with the "...sorriest wishes" St. Peter has ever heard. Jack ends up being rejected at the gates of Hell by the devil himself, which accounts for those mysterious lights in the swamp at night. Wooldridge's rhythmic phrases and colorful expressions read aloud particularly well. Hers is an assured voice, using a sly understatement that provides a terrific backdrop for the pictures done in graphite on paper with oil, oil pastels, "...and a smudge of the coal left over from the illustrator's jack-o'-lantern." Children will especially love the slapstick humor: the text reads, "After that, Jack got meaner than ever," and the pictures show him dropping hot coals down a neighbor's pants, then hoisting him up and shooting him with a slingshot. And Jack himself is priceless, a lumbering oaf with a massive body and ridiculously delicate little feet. Hillenbrand can create figures that will provoke a laugh just by being there. All in all, a book with surefire child appeal.?Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate edition.

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