While still fun, Calamity Jack, the sequel to Rapunzel’s Revenge is not as strong as the first graphic novel. Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and Nathan Hale this time show the world of Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk fame. We see (in a quick
flashback) how the goose came into Jack’s possession; why the magic beans were important (no cow in sight) and that we should watch out for Mother’s who know how to back some crazy bread. Then we jump forward to “now” where Rapunzel and Jack take a train to the city so they can use the magic eggs from the goose to buy the area Jack grew up in. However, not only does he have to deal with giants, but crazy-giant sized ant people; a kidnapped mother, and friends and family that do not really want anything to do with him. There are new friends that come into play as Jack and Rapunzel try and save the day again.
The biggest complaint I have this time is that the story is heavy on the fantasy and the magic aspects compared to the first book. This honestly makes it less believable. “Wait,” I hear you saying, “A gal with hair long enough to climb out towers, up trees, and used as a lasso is believable?” Well, no, but the people of Rapunzel’s Revenge were all humans. This time we have a small mix of people and creatures that pulled me out of a realistic setting. There are fairies and pig people. The diverseness is one thing (the fairies are all races, and most of the humans are of Native American decent) but to toss in the pig people (without giving them any background or reason to be there) is not needed. I think I could have handled fairies if not for the pig people.
However, Dean Hale (no relation) does have their familiar illustrations. They are colorful, detailed to a needed amount and move along the story. Text is not always needed, but there is a healthy amount of dialogue and think bubbles from Jack. The only thing I would have liked is if the giants and pig people were more defined and less “melty” looking. They do not have to be “handsome” but they did not always feel real.
With all that said, I did enjoy this book, even might reread it and recommend it to ages 10 to 14.