David's Reviews > Previously

Previously by Allan Ahlberg
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's review
Jul 16, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fairy-tales, picturebooks

Previously by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman explores the idea that every story started somewhere, tying together six fairytale characters in one story exploring beginnings that occured ... previously.

A clever idea. The stories of Goldilocks, Jack of Beanstalk fame, Jack and Jill, the Frog Prince, Cinderella, and the Gingerbread Boy are combined. I didn't like combining fairy tales and present day activites, such as Jack playing soccer, which took me out of fairy tale mode. If the character's story had been a bit more intertwined I would have enjoyed it more. Having to repeatedly say "Previously" could be annoying to some adult readers. Children need to be familiar with all the tales for this book to really work.

The illustrations are nicely done, though showing Goldilocks running three times on the same two-page spread could confuse some children.

For ages 4 to 7, introducing the concept of previously, fairy tale themes, and fans of Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman.

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