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PREVIOUSLY by Allan Ahlberg


by Allan Ahlberg & illustrated by Bruce Ingman

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3542-8
Publisher: Candlewick

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)