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NOT LAST NIGHT BUT THE NIGHT BEFORE by Colin McNaughton

NOT LAST NIGHT BUT THE NIGHT BEFORE

By Colin McNaughton (Author) , Emma Chichester Clark (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4420-8
Publisher: Candlewick

The old jump-rope rhyme about 24 robbers knocking on the door is revised using fairy-tale characters instead of robbers as the visitors. The first-person narrator is a little boy who answers the Dutch door at his house to admit the characters, with each group carrying a wrapped present. The visitors include well-known fairy-tale friends such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Jack and Jill, along with three mysterious, black cats and the Man in the Moon. This book was first published in England, so the traditional characters of Punch, Judy, their baby and Crocodile also appear, which will require some explanation for American readers. A slapstick, “he’s a jolly good fellow” atmosphere prevails, with the whole cast of characters singing a birthday greeting to the boy as a surprise conclusion. Chichester Clark’s comical watercolor illustrations are filled with patterned costumes, flowers, balloons and amusing action as the fairy-tale characters trip over themselves to get to the party on time. The little boy may be repeatedly knocked down by the guests, but that doesn’t get in the way of his fun. (Picture book. 3-6)