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!
I 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!).
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