Previously

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Overview

The team behind THE RUNAWAY DINNER reverses direction in this clever pastiche of fairy tales in which everyone lives happily ever . . . before.

"Jack was running like mad in the dark woods with a hen under his arm.
Previously, he had stolen the hen and climbed down a beanstalk."

But do you know what was Jack doing before he climbed down the beanstalk?

Or what Jack and Jill were arguing about before they went ...

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Overview

The team behind THE RUNAWAY DINNER reverses direction in this clever pastiche of fairy tales in which everyone lives happily ever . . . before.

"Jack was running like mad in the dark woods with a hen under his arm.
Previously, he had stolen the hen and climbed down a beanstalk."

But do you know what was Jack doing before he climbed down the beanstalk?

Or what Jack and Jill were arguing about before they went up the hill? And what happened before that? Every story, every person, and every thing started somewhere, and now the inventive and whimsical Allan Ahlberg explores what all your favorite storybook characters were up to previously, aided by Bruce Ingman’s energetic illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2 This reverse cumulative tale cleverly connects some fairy tales and nursery rhymes. "Goldilocks arrived home all bothered and hot. Previously she had been running like mad in the dark woods. Previously she had been climbing out of somebody else's window." Previously, she had bumped into Jack who "was running like mad in the dark woods with a hen under his arm." Cinderella was "bumped into by...The Gingerbread Boy" and his whole group of followers. The ingenuous acrylic paintings mirror the turnabouts artfully so that, for example, Jack appears four times on the same spread: falling down a hill with Jill, playing soccer, talking with his mother, and exchanging a cow for some beans. The jazzy, colorful pictures display substantive variety: silhouetted figures dance at Cinderella's ball; she previously runs through trees that rise out of Impressionist-like blue-dotted ground; the prince who danced with Cinderella changes into a frog; his head visibly transforms in a series of views atop his normal head. Read this book aloud so that youngsters can chime in and shout the word "previously" 29 times. Children will delight in this energetic, amusing, and very approachable tale.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Along the same lines as David LaRochelle and Richard Egielski's The End (February 2007), but using more predictable elements, Ahlberg and Ingman present a set of linked tales in rewind mode. Goldilocks arrives home "all bothered and hot." Why? Because previously she had run through the forest, having climbed out of somebody's window in the wake of being caught sleeping in someone's bed, etc. Even before that, she had bumped into a lad named Jack with a hen under his arm . . . and so on, through Jack and Jill, the Frog Prince, Cinderella and others-and yet further back, to when all the characters were babies and, even further, the dark woods were seedlings "in the sun and the wind and the rain / under the endless sky, once upon a time. Previously." In Ingman's thickly brushed cartoons, small figures in contemporary dress dash through rolling fields and thick forest before regressing to a spread of diaper-clad infants, then giving way to open, almost abstract landscape. The title word's repetition creates a verbal pattern that comes out more clearly when spoken aloud, but even solitary young readers will follow the plot easily-in either direction. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763653040
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 349,191
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Allan Ahlberg is the author of THE RUNAWAY DINNER, illustrated by Bruce Ingman; HALF A PIG, illustrated by his daughter, Jessica Ahlberg; the Gaskitts books, illustrated by Katharine McEwen; and many other titles, including the popular Jolly Postman series. He lives in Bath, England.

Bruce Ingman is an award-winning children’s book illustrator who illustrated THE RUNAWAY DINNER by Allan Ahlberg and BOING! by Sean Taylor. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Learn the prior/former life of several storybook or fairy tale c

    Learn the prior/former life of several storybook or fairy tale
    characters. *Great reading for youth that want to know "What the
    characters were doing before this story?" and "What was their
    life like before this tale was told ?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    Rollicking Revisitation of Fairy Tales

    Just when you thought it was safe to read fairy tales, Alan Ahlberg gives us the real story behind really happened to such famous characters as Jack and Jill; Goldilocks; Jack and the Beanstalk and many more. Who knew that they were all connected in such an odd, entertaining and ultimately poetic way?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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