A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales Retold

by Jeanne Steig

Other authorsWilliam Steig (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1998



Call number




HarperCollins (1998), Edition: 1st, 144 pages


A collection of six classic fairy tales, retold with rhymes and humor.

User reviews

LibraryThing member debrasw
Summary: This is a book with 6 different classic fairy tales that are retold by this author. They are classic and witty and altogether a lot of fun to read. The stories included are Rumplestiltskin - which is about a woman who figures out a little man's name in order to save her child, Beauty and
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the Beast - a girl falls in love with a beast, Hansel and Gretel where a little boy and girl follow bread crumbs home, Little Red Riding Hood is the story of a girl who is fooled by a wolf, The Frog Prince is the story of a prince who is turned into a frog and needs a kiss from a princess, Then there is Jack and the Bean Stalk which is about a boy who buys beans instead of a cow and finds riches from these magical beans.

Genre: This is a handful of fairy tales because these are stories that have been told and retold throughout the ages. These stories have been passed down and finally someone wrote them down in order to preserve the true story! They usually have some sort of moral at the end also!! So with these fairy tales there are morals of not promising something you can't keep, and going with your gut instinct, as well as trusting your instincts.

Theme: There were multiple themes throughout these stories. one theme was greed, another was lust for power, in rumplestiltskin. In Beauty and the Beast, there was the theme of beauty, anger, and triumph of good over evil.

Media: Guess: paint and pen
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
The first few stories are told with such grace & beauty that Wm's illustrations seem totally inappropriate.? I always see his pix as playful and just a little subversive, with, perhaps, a nod or wink to more adult wit.?á The last couple of stories do have more fun in them, and the art fits
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better.?á But nowhere are we told such things as Why does the Frog Prince want to marry that nasty snobby Princess? or Why did the wicked fairy turn the Prince into a Beast? or Why does Jack have more right to the gold, hen, and harp than does the Giant?

A deep fan of fairy tales might enjoy visiting these versions of the stories, especially the language of the re-tellings, if they can get this book from their libraries.?á But I cannot recommend it for purchase by anybody.

I do, however, like the following line well enough to want to start using it in conversation with my family:
And what more could you wish??á The moon on a dish?""
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LibraryThing member gakers16
This book retells the stories of Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, and Jack and the Beanstalk in short stories that are short enough for young children to enjoy.


Original language



0062051628 / 9780062051622

Local notes

Includes 6 Stories: Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, Jack and the Beanstalk
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