Jack and the Giant Barbecue by Kimmel and Manders

Young Jack just found out that a giant stole his father’s award winning barbeque recipe book, which caused his father to immediately fall over dead with grief. WTH?!

Jack and the Giant Barbecue
by Eric A. Kimmel
illustrated by John Manders
Amazon Children’s Publishing
March 2012

(This isn’t a SPOILER as we learn this almost immediately.)

So Jack, overcome with anger over his father’s stolen recipe book (not his death,) sets out to find the giant and steal back the recipe book. Along the way he meets a talking, huge juke box that helps him steal the recipe book and get away from the pursuing giant. The giant falls off a cliff (and presumably dies). Jack opens a new barbecue joint that soon becomes famous and everyone (except his dead dad and the giant) live happily ever after.

Why a children’s book should have a father die in it is inexplicable. Why should it prompt questions like these? Why not have the giant capture the father and have Jack try to save him? Why was the barbecue recipe book more important than the father? This is most likely an attempt at satire and silliness. But most of it will be missed by the age group likely to ever read this, namely young children. Adults aren’t going to enjoy the book either so who this book is written for is an outstanding question.

This is a nice hard back book, with great colorful artwork. It is also a mess of a story with one huge, glaring dumb choice by the author. Children’s books should be fun and carefree. This one is not.

Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.