Jasper’s Beanstalk by Nick Butterworth & Mick Inkpen

With the weather getting warmer and spring on its way we are starting to think about our garden and have already planted lettuce and basil seeds. Jasper’s Beanstalk is a great story to introduce the concept of planting and growth to young children.

The Story: On Monday Jasper plants a bean and every day of the week he does something to help it grow. On the following Monday, frustrated by the lack of growth, he pulls the bean out and throws it away. However, the bean grows without Jasper’s help and a long time later he has a lovely beanstalk. Now he’s looking out for giants!

Jasper's Beanstalk - Story SnugI have used Jasper’s Beanstalk with reception / year one classes, it covers so many great subjects using less than one hundred words! The whole process of planting, watering, hoeing and getting rid of slugs and snails is beautifully demonstrated as is the need to be patient! It is also a great book for teaching children the days of the week and the simple text makes it a great book for beginner readers. Jasper is a very loveable character and Mick Inkpen’s illustrations are beautifully simple, just Jasper on a white background (apart from the evening snail hunting spread). When I was teaching Family Literacy one of the parents made a great storysack using Jasper’s Beanstalk.

Planting beans is a great activity to do with young children, they don’t have to wait too long for the beans to grow. As we planted ours in the classroom we referred back to the book to remind ourselves that seeds need sunlight, water, time and patience(!). I often talk about other seeds that we can grow and plant cress as well (another quick grower!).

Growing beans Story Snug http://storysnug.com

This is a good story to read in conjunction with Jack and the Beanstalk, when a child isn’t familiar with the story the reference to giants on the final page is a bit confusing.

I love the way this book literally ‘grows’ with the child! My daughter is now ‘reading’ it to herself.

Age Range: 2 +

Author: Nick Butterworth / Illustrator: Mick Inkpen

14 thoughts on “Jasper’s Beanstalk by Nick Butterworth & Mick Inkpen

  1. Sounds like just the book we need here at home. I love gardening, especially now with the weather starting to warm up, but our daughter doesn’t find it that interesting. Once there is fruit or vegetables to pick it is much more fun.

    • Jasper didn’t find it too interesting either until much later when the beanstalk grew. I guess the best thing to do is find the quickest growing seeds you can – radishes grow really quickly 🙂

  2. ooh, you’re ahead of us – we haven’t done any sowing yet this year – hoping to start this week now that last vestiges of snow are gone!

    • I got fed up waiting for the snow to disappear but I think we may have to do a second round of sowing 😉 We sowed sunflowers and pumpkins last week.

  3. This looks really good, my son is in reception and I think he would enjoy it. We’ve only done cress this year, love how quickly it grows! And as the kids won’t eat it, I get it all for my egg sandwiches. Maybe time to get more adventurous…

    • I often used this book with reception children and once children know the story it is a great first reader. We have just planted cress, I know I’ll be the only one that eats it too 🙂

  4. We loved discovering new books, and we recently read a few different versions of Jack and the Beanstalk. This book will be a great addition to our next library stop. Thanks for linking this post to Discover and Explore. I hope you’ll be back to share for our Moon, Stars, and Nighttime Sky theme this week.

    • If you know Jack and the beanstalk already you will understand the reference to giants at the end of the story. A moon, stars and nighttime sky theme sounds lovely 🙂

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