The Backward Day

Overview

Imagine your whole day lived backward, from beginning to end. When you got up, you’d put on your jacket, then your shirt and pants, and over those your underwear, because after all, backward is backward, and on a backward day backward is the way everything has to be. You’d walk downstairs backward and sit on your chair backward with your back to the table, and when your parents greeted you in the morning you’d say, of course, “Good night.” But how long can a backward day go on? Just long enough for a smart kid to...
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Overview

Imagine your whole day lived backward, from beginning to end. When you got up, you’d put on your jacket, then your shirt and pants, and over those your underwear, because after all, backward is backward, and on a backward day backward is the way everything has to be. You’d walk downstairs backward and sit on your chair backward with your back to the table, and when your parents greeted you in the morning you’d say, of course, “Good night.” But how long can a backward day go on? Just long enough for a smart kid to reverse the spell he’s cast on the whole household and return everything to normal. The Backward Day, a delightfully stylish picture book by the Caldecott Prize–winning team of Marc Simont and Ruth Krauss, brings to life a humorous and engaging reversal of ordinary reality that will enchant young children, as well parents.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“For some reason, young children get an absurd kick out of doing things backward, or spelling words backward, or otherwise behaving contrariwise for comic effect…Ruth Krauss’s 1950 picture book, The Backward Day–just revived in elegant hardback as part of the New York Review Children’s Collection–speaks directly to this anarchic impulse…Marc Simont’s appealing drawings reflect…the timeless sweetness of a family joke shared.” –The Wall Street Journal

"The Backward Day by Ruth Krauss, illus. by Marc Simont, celebrates one boy's revelry as he tries to experience his day backward. With a bold palette, Simont's inky illustrations enchant, as do the youngster's family, whose 1950s primness gives way as they gamely play along with the boy's antics." --Publishers Weekly

“She keeps on listening to the talk of small children, and as she transfers it to the page, her own imaginative use of their words is unlike that of anyone else writing for those ‘before six.’ ” —New York Herald Tribune

“The season for giving books to children comes again, and this column will be directed to parents, aunts, uncles who wish children to ‘make friends with books’…for youngsters under 7 we call attention to…The Backward Day, by Ruth Krauss.” —Los Angeles Times

“She always manages to find a focal point which comes right out of the real life of a young child.” —Junior Reviewers

Adults reading Krauss's books are “catapulted into the world of children.” —The Atlantic Monthly

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
There is something about doing things backwards that brings about the giggles and laughter. A young boy wakes up and declares the day as Backward Day. He proceeds to get dressed starting with his coat, short pants, jacket, and lastly, his underwear. With underwear stretched over the clothing as outerwear, the youngster heads to the dining room for breakfast. Continuing in a reversed fashion, he goes downstairs backwards with socks over his shoes. While sitting at his father's chair facing away from the breakfast table, the boy places his napkin on backwards and greets his family with goodnights. The family members return his salutations of goodnight. Although the father, mother, and baby sister are not wearing clothing backwards, they each sit down at the table backwards as if it were just a normal part of the day. Just how far will the boy and his family go? Will Backward Day ever go backwards? The simple illustrations make the unusual day seem like such a normal, natural one for the young boy and his family that they bring laughter and chuckles from readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590172377
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 8/7/2007
  • Series: New York Review Children's Collection Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 543,759
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Krauss (1901-1993), a member of the experimental Writer's Laboratory at the Bank Street School in New York City in the 1940s, imaginatively used humor and invented words to create some of the very first books for children that highlighted a child's inner life. She collaborated with some of the greatest illustrators in children's literature, including Maurice Sendak and her husband, Crockett Johnson.

Marc Simont (1915-2013) illustrated nearly a hundred books. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss’s The Happy Day, and in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry. He is the illustrator for The New York Review Children’s Collection books The Wonderful O and The 13 Clocks.

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