Jack is a boy who is not afraid to speak what's on his mind. When the narrator's directions begin to lead him in directions he does not want to go, he stands strong and offers his honest advice (and ear for rhyme) to a giant in need. As it turns out, Jack is not the only one who doesn't like to be pushed in undesirable directions. And as all fairy tales seem to go, happy endings make the best of all.
In a traditional story, a narrator usually doesn't interact with other characters. But author Josh Funk adds a unique metafiction spin when he plays with the story's structure. Jack and the narrator don't just communicate, they even disagree. It gets downright bossy at times and Jack is fully aware that he is in a story. I must disagree with Jack when he says, "This story keeps getting worse and worse." For readers, it just keeps getting better and better. Reader code for worse and worse is of course, tension, drama, and conflict. Yes! We crave it! We must have it! Without it, the story would be boring. There will be none of that in this story which begs to be read a loud. Step into character and be ready to perform. It's your chance to use two distinct main character voices... (Personally, I use an British announcer-ish voice (think Robin Leach) for the narrator and a pronounced nasal-ish tone for Jack. Oh, and a low moo voice for Bessy the Cow, a dreamy voice for Cinderella, and a booming voice for the Giant.)
Paired with Edwardian Taylor's animated illustration style and lots of dialogue between characters, It's NOT Jack and the Beanstalk appeals to the reader just as a humorous video or television program would. And in this age of electronics and technology, it ought to earn high points with kids. Reaching the child reader's interest level is the key to transforming them into lifelong readers. Author Josh Funk has the formula and It's NOT Hansel and Gretal is coming in 2019!