As a mom (and teacher), I strive everyday to engage, nurture, and expand the mind of my little one.
Here you will find the books, music, and activities most useful to me in my endeavors.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


written by Allan Alhberg
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.

1 comment:

Chi-town momma said...

I actually saw this on your sidebar the other day and checked it out. I have it added to my Amazon cart. I am hoping to get a few more books in there to make it worth my while, so I am open to some other suggestions!