Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales Retold” as Want to Read:
A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales Retold
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales Retold

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  11 reviews
With its modest yet mischievous title an entirely fitting harbinger of the tone and tales to come, A Handful of Beans is an ample demonstration that, yes, we can use another "Jack and the Beanstalk" (and another "Rumpelstiltskin, " "Beauty and the Beast, " "Hansel and Gretel, " "Little Red Riding Hood, " and "The Frog Prince"). While fairy-tale parodies and updates are ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 23rd 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Handful of Beans, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Handful of Beans

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  51 ratings  ·  11 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales Retold
Shanna Gonzalez
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-04-08
A delightfully told collection of six classic fairy tales, told in crackerjack prose and rhymes, and illustrated by the inimitable William Steig. The author keeps closely to the traditional versions of these tales, giving them a uniquely wry and playful flavor reminiscent of Edith Nesbit: In Rumplestiltskin, the queen inquires, "Is it Crumple or Blister, or Guggle or Nank? Williwaw, Flimflam, or Hiccup or Clank?" The witch tucks Hansel and Gretel into beds "with sheets as soft as a spider's ...more
R. C.
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's the little verses added to these six well-known fairy tales. That's why I love reading these aloud. My kids love them too. My oldest gobbled them all up on the day the book arrived. My middle recorded MP3s of himself reciting his favorite poems. My youngest requests this book at bedtime pretty much every night.
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-520
I read Little Red Riding Hood from A Handful of Beans, written by Jeanne Steig in 1998. This version of the fairy tale has one similar to the traditional ending where the grandma emerges from the wolf unharmed after the huntsman helps cut them out of the wolf. It is a very good fairy tale with some great illustrations.
Victoria Grusing
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed as I had hoped there would be more of Wm. Steig's magic telling like The Magic Pebble. Should have read description better. It is basically just one more book of these 6 old tales with new pictures.
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
"Six classics in one book: "Rumpelstiltskin," "Beauty and the Beast," "Hansel and Gretel," "Little Red Riding Hood," "The Frog Prince," and "Jack and the Beanstalk."--according to Goodreads review

I haven't read these stories in ages, so it was fun to read them again. For some reason when I first started reading Rumpelstiltskin, I got it confused with Rip Van Winkle and couldn't figure out the story! I loved the descriptions Jeanne Steig gives for the different characters and the way Wiliam Steig
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
best for kids who already know these tales
just the right amount of illustrations
love the added rhymes within the mostly traditional tales
the violence of the originals is in these (Rumpelstiltskin tears himself in two, the Beast talks of murder, Gretel pushing the witch in the oven is illustrated and also elaborated in gruesome words, Wolf is filled with rocks and dies)
Oct 15, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this book to observe another version of Rumpelstiltskin. I did not find it particularly appealing.
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
Not a retelling
Feb 01, 2016 added it
Shelves: folk-literature
Great to see this reissued by Atheneum.
Edy Gies
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tale
This was a cute retelling of the stories accompanied by wonderfully charming illustrations
May 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: folklore
Retelling of: Rumplestiltskin, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Illustrations. Small sized book.
rated it it was ok
Feb 13, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2015
Caroline Tyson Cox
rated it it was ok
Sep 27, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 03, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2018
Andrew Richardson
rated it it was ok
Aug 28, 2011
rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2009
Tom Leonard
rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2017
rated it it was ok
Mar 16, 2010
rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2017
Jacob Micola
rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2012
Rebekah Tageson
rated it liked it
Dec 09, 2012
Marilyn Olson
rated it really liked it
May 01, 2016
Ollie Reeder
rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2017
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2013
Jacob Micola
rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2012
rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2018
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2007
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Twilight Chant
  • Hare
  • The Corfu Trilogy (The Corfu Trilogy #1-3)
  • Blood Orange (China Bayles, #24)
  • Don't Call Me Ma
  • Miss Dimple and the Slightly Bewildered Angel
  • The Last Chance Olive Ranch (China Bayles #25)
  • The Bookshop
  • Miss Silver Comes to Stay (Miss Silver, #15)
  • The Scribe
  • Miss Silver Deals With Death (Miss Silver, #6)
  • Queen Anne's Lace (China Bayles #26)
  • The Alexandria Quartet  (The Alexandria Quartet #1-4)
  • The Necklace and Other Stories: Maupassant for Modern Times
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »