Shaq and the Beanstalk: And Other Very Tall Tales

Shaquille O'Neal and Shane W. Evans

Published by Jump at the Sun, 1999
ISBN 10: 0590918230 / ISBN 13: 9780590918237
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Synopsis: Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal relates updated versions of five fairy tales linked together, in each of which he plays a major role: Shaq and the beanstalk; Little Red Riding Shaq; Shaq and the three bears; Shaq's new clothes; and Shaq and the three billy goats gruff.

Review: Celebrity children's books don't have a great reputation--but this one deserves to be a big, big exception. You don't have to be a Shaquille O'Neal fan to enjoy his clever spins on familiar fairy tales. Shaq's adventures begin when he is about seven or eight and throws his lima beans out the window instead of eating them. Of course, a beanstalk grows, he climbs it, and he meets George the giant. After a few misunderstandings (George wants to eat Shaq), they come to an agreement. Shaq must deliver cookies to George's grandmother (setting the stage for a retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood") and recover the hen that lays the golden basketballs (who ran away during Shaq's fight with the giant).

In six dynamic, photograph-splashed tall tales, Shaq meets the three bears, encounters the billy goats Gruff, and finally makes it home. You can hear Shaq's voice in the telling ("...there before me stood the biggest Big Man I'd ever seen. I'll tell you, if this guy had skills, he would have done well in the NBA."), and he takes pains to include some advice for living ("I have always believed that fighting is the loser's way out."). All in all, these are terrific stories, told with skill and a big heart. The fact that they come from a 7-foot-tall physical genius should only make them more appealing. (Ages 4 to 10) --Richard Farr

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Title: Shaq and the Beanstalk: And Other Very Tall ...
Publisher: Jump at the Sun
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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