Thursday, September 22, 2016
By Ben Hatke
First Second, 2016. J Comics. 205 p.
Jack lives with his Mom and sister Maddy, who doesn’t speak. At a flea market, Jack is shocked when a man mysteriously knows his name and Maddy speaks to Jack and urges him to buy some seeds from the man. After acquiring the seeds, Jack and Maddy begin planting them and quickly learn that the seeds are magic. With the help of a Lilly, the sword-wielding girl Jack just met, they begin to “maintain” the garden which consists of battling creatures and eating magic vegetables that give them powers. However, Jack is becoming increasingly nervous about the intentions of the garden.
Ben Hatke, creator of the popular graphic novels Zita the Spacegirl and Little Robot, succeeds in creating a new fractured fairy tale graphic novel that is exciting and funny. With good characters and well-done twists on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale, this is a solid graphic novel series opener that kids will really enjoy.