The moral of "Jack and the Beanstalk" has to do with taking advantage of the opportunities that life provides. At the beginning, Jack is mired in poverty, selling his family's cow, which was a true act of desperation given that it was one of the family's last sources of sustenance. By the end, he has untold wealth, with the golden hen, and he is the village hero.Continue Reading
Jack's mother responds with anger when he returns home with a handful of beans because she is expecting something that she views as useful — such as money. Instead, he comes home with something that is virtually worthless in her eyes, and so she throws them out the window.
However, the beanstalk that grows up into the sky is Jack's opportunity to escape. He wants to redeem himself in his mother's eyes (and his own), and so when he sees the stalk, he climbs it, even though he has no idea where it leads. It is the acceptance of this risk that ends up transforming his life.
While not every risk leads to the discovery of a golden hen that provides a neverending supply of golden eggs, the reader walks away from this story with the knowledge that even the scariest risk brings the possibility of reward.Learn more about Children's Books
In the original text of "Jack and the Beanstalk," the name of the giant is not given. However, most plays that are based on the story have the giant named Blunderbore. The giant goes by similar names in other versions of the story, including Blunderboar, Thunderbore, Blunderbus and Blunderbuss.Full Answer >
Good short stories for second graders include "Jack and the Beanstalk," "The Story of Miss Moppet," and "The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse." Children at this age also enjoy reading short books, such as "Sneakers, the Seaside Cat."Full Answer >
"The Summer of the Swans" explores a young girl's coming of age when she faces the disappearance of her younger brother and realizes her own petty concerns pale in comparison to life's real and harrowing events. When Sara finally locates Charlie, she realizes the importance of meaningful, loving relationships.Full Answer >
Common themes in children's literature include stories that concern life at home, school and with parents and other family members, as stated by Children's Literature Classics. Other popular themes revolve around friendship, bullying, toys and play, magic and the imagination.Full Answer >