Wicked Jack adapted by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand is a wicked good book! It is a beautiful hardback childrens book with a dust cover.
The story is adapted from 3 different folk tales.
It is a story of a man so mean that even the devil didn’t want him. I really liked the part where the devil tells him he isn’t welcome in hell and gave him a coal to make his own hell.
The illustrations are wonderful! I especially liked the dark swampy pictures at the front and the back of the book. The artist’s note at the end of the book says that one of the things he used to do the illustrations was a smudge of coal from his jack-o’-lantern which I thought was way cool.
The book is very well made and would probably last through several generations if taken care of. It would be a great Halloween story for young kids. The book is recommended for children 4 – 8.
From the front cover flap :
Wicked Jack is meaner than a rattlesnake. One day, Saint Peter visits him in the Great Dismal Swamp, and Jack is nicer than usual. To reward him, Saint Peter grants him three wishes. True to his nature, Jack comes up with three mean things: that his rocking chair will keep a -rocking once someone sits in it, that anybody touching his sledgehammer will stick to it like glue, and that whoever falls into the firebush in front of Jack”s shop will get stuck in the middle. What happens when Jack uses his wishes on two small devils, and finally the Devil himself, resuts in Jack’s being turned away at the gates of both Heaven and Hell. To this day, he’s still wandering around Dismal Swamp with a lump of coal. Some say this explains the origin of jack-o-lanterns.
About the Author (from the back flap) :
Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge has had several stories published in Cricket Magazine and Highlights for Children. She received an M.A. in Education and an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Chicago. She and her husband live with their four children in Richmond, Indiana. Wicked Jack is her first picture book.
About the Illustrator (from the back flap) :
Will Hillenbrand has illustrated a number of picture books, including The Treasure Chest: A Chinese Tale and Asher and the Capmakers: A Hanukkah Story. He lives with his wife and son in Terrace Park, Ohio.