I loved reading classic tales with my kids. From Jack and the Beanstalk to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. These simple tales have stood the test of time and are perfect for creating book based activities around as well as getting children used to how stories are formed. However, when you start to look for favourites there are so many different possibilities out there. I spent a few mornings in the library and at the bookshop until I settled on our favourites that we filled our book basket with when we did activities based on these specific books.
So to save you some time and help you introduce these classic tales to your toddlers and preschoolers I'm sharing our knowledge and we've put together our top pick of the Jack and the Beanstalk Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers that we think you will love to read together as well.
Jack and the Beanstalk Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
You may ask why we didn't use a single book when we read these classic tales. The main reason is that illustrations, the way that stories are told and the differences in the stories can be fun to explore too.
With this selection, we have included touch and feel, and board books that your little ones can "read" independently. Then simple tales that have fantastic illustrations plus a few variations on the tale that you can spend time with your older preschoolers looking at the differences.
Toddler Jack and the Beanstalk Books
Jack and the Beanstalk Board Book by Carmen Crowe is a twist on the classic tale in a simple padded board book format. The giant is away on vacation and Jack will be getting up to lots of mischief in this retelling of the fairy tale.
Another great toddler board book version of the classic tale is Jack and the Beanstalk by Tony Ross. This is a really simplified version of the story but you and your toddler can use the tabs at the side of the book to go to the different sections as you retell the story yourself.
Without a doubt, if it makes a noise your tots will love it! This version of the tale Jack and the Beanstalk 10 Fairy Tale Sounds is great for retelling the story and your will have your toddler mooing and Fi Fi Fo Fuming along with the cow and the giant in no time.
Jack and the Beanstalk Stories for Preschoolers
Although your preschooler will continue to love those toddler books for a while yet you can introduce other variations of the story and as their attention span increase sit down and read longer and more complex books not just at bedtime but during the day as well.
As much as I like variation I also like some consistency with the books that we read, so discovering the Ladybird First Favourite Tales when my own kids were toddlers was brilliant. All of our favourite tales in short little hand-sized versions. The storyline stays true to the tales but they are simplified so makes it easy for you to read with little ones that can't stop moving around. The Jack and the Beanstalk illustrations are fun and all of the characters can be found in the book.
Pop-up Books and lift the flaps add a lovely element to any story and in the Tiger Tales Pop Up Fairy Tales Jack and the Beanstalk there is a lot of fun to be had. It was great with my eldest who was always careful with books, but my little one had to be supervised so this was one that wasn't left in the book basket for her to explore on her own we would sit down and read it together and then it would return to a high shelf.
In Jack and the Beanstalk by Nosy Crow, the story is told true to tale but with more realistic computer styled illustrations. The text like the others in our preschool books is simplified a little for your preschoolers but they follow the story fully.
Jack and the Beanstalk Variations for Kids
As with many of the much loved classic tales there are now many variations of the tale we've included 3 here that we found particularly good.
We laughed our way through It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk as instead of stealing and disobeying his mother Jack decides to take control of the story himself and follow a different path.
Every story has two sides and in Trust me, Jack's Beanstalk Stinks! by Eric Braun, we get to hear the story from the giant's point of view. The book is full of fun illustrations and the giant - well it's really difficult being a giant and is a good contrast to the original story.
Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs is another alternative version and ideal for reading and then completing some fun maths activities inspired by the story.
Activities Inspired by the Jack and the Beanstalk Tales
Count to 10 and more with this Golden Egg Math Activity for Jack and the Beanstalk plus get our Beanstalk Number Line to download.
Help Jack count and climb with another fun math activity for toddlers and preschoolers with our Count and Climb Jack and the Beanstalk to make and play with.