illustrated by Bruce Ingam
Previously I thought "Once upon a time ..." was only meant for the beginning of a story.
Previously I had no idea that fairy tales and nursery rhymes were so interconnected.
Previously I didn't think about what happened before the story started.
But now I have read - and reread and reread - Allan Alhberg's book, Previously. It's so ridiculously clever and fun and interesting and thought-provoking! Not bad for a picture book, huh? It was the title, more than the cover art, that drew me, like a magnet, across the youth section of the library. I checked it out, brought it home, and I've since renewed it two times. I now have it ordered and on its way to my house ... because Natalie really needs another book in her collection :)
Anyway, Previously is ...
The story of Goldilocks collides with Jack and the Beanstalk which runs right into Jack and Jill ... after a few other storybook visits, it ends with Cinderella, links back to the woods through which Goldilocks ran, and comes to a very satisfying end ... all while working backward! It's a crazy ride, and it's as enjoyable for adults as it is for toddlers.
Teacher Thought: This story has proven to be a great discussion tool. Before reading this book, I didn't really think to focus on the past with my toddler. I often previewed what we'd be doing that day, but now I also take the time to review what happened. For example, I'll ask Natalie what she was doing before she fell, which helps her make a connection. We also go through each of the day's events as part of our cuddle/bedtime routine. Sometimes I'll ask her what we did before an event rather than working through the day from beginning to end. Talking about what happened before can really develop a toddler's understanding of time and cause and effect relationships.