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7 Reviews
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4 star:
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and appealing idea, a picture book with fairy tales running from their end backwards
This book starts with Goldilocks returning home from the three bears cottage, and the whole book unrolls backwards to her going into the bears cottage, who she met in the woods just before and so on.... The book covers Goldilocks, then Jack and his Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, the Frog Prince, Cinderella, and the Gingerbread Boy. I think the concept is great, and there's a...
Published on 9 Sep 2007 by ELH Browning

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Fails to deliver
There is a good idea in there somewhere but the book fails to do the idea justice. The best thing about it is the relief of getting to the end. Horrible to read, boring for the child. Sorry but this book is the least favourite on the bookshelf.
Published 17 hours ago by Rich M


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and appealing idea, a picture book with fairy tales running from their end backwards, 9 Sep 2007
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ELH Browning "Esther-Lou" (Kingston Bagpuize, Oxon) - See all my reviews
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This book starts with Goldilocks returning home from the three bears cottage, and the whole book unrolls backwards to her going into the bears cottage, who she met in the woods just before and so on.... The book covers Goldilocks, then Jack and his Beanstalk, Jack and Jill, the Frog Prince, Cinderella, and the Gingerbread Boy. I think the concept is great, and there's a good spread of well-known characters, equally suitable for boys or girls. Every sentence in the book begins with `Previously...', except where a new character is introduced, and the text is perhaps weaker than the idea itself. Having said that my children (3,5,6) love the idea of a back-to-front story and have enjoyed it very much. On reaching the end they insist that I then read (paraphrase) it backwards from the end of the book to the beginning. It certainly provides lots of food for thought and would be a great book for the Foundation and KS1 classroom, encouraging children to think about the ordering of events, the development of stories, and so on, in a fun way. You might also like to look at The Bravest Ever Bear and The Runaway Dinner by the same author for a brilliantly funny picture book about developing a story for 4-7s and a generally silly story for the 3-6s respectively.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Previously, 26 July 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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I have long been a fan of Allan Ahlberg and his books have been a part of all my children's childhoods. This is a particular favourite of my daughter's. She 'previously' lost this book and was so upset that I had to order a copy to placate her, even though she has now moved largly on to chapter books. However, as other reviewers have so correctly pointed out, this is a picture book for the slightly older child (as are others by Allan Ahlberg and illustrator Bruce Ingman, "The Runaway Dinner" and "The Pencil"). However, due to the nature of the story, which uses familiar characters, younger children may also enjoy it, even if they do not quite understand the storyline completely.

The basic idea is that the story is told backwards. So, Goldilocks arrives home after leaving the cottage belonging to the three bears and previously to that she had met Jack, who has previously climbed up the beanstalk, etc etc. Other characters include Jack and Jill, the frog prince, Cinderella and the Gingerbread Boy. The book also cleverly rates how people grow, how times change and what came before. It's a beautiful story, a delight to read aloud, with great illustrations and I have used it successfully for a reading group with school age children, as it has a lot to talk about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Previously I have enjoyed reading to children, 29 April 2013
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I saw this book in the library and read it to my grandson, then just had to buy it as a present for my goddaughter.

If you like Allan Ahlberg you'll love this quirky book. It brings together many characters from classic childrens books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner - could become a classic., 9 Feb 2014
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Ab fab book that joins up all your favourite rhymes and stories with good connections like names.
Children love it. So does this big kid !
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1.0 out of 5 stars Fails to deliver, 20 Sep 2014
This review is from: Previously (Paperback)
There is a good idea in there somewhere but the book fails to do the idea justice. The best thing about it is the relief of getting to the end. Horrible to read, boring for the child. Sorry but this book is the least favourite on the bookshelf.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars previously, 20 May 2010
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i bought this for my 6 yr old, shes always loved Mr Ahlbergs books. i know that his writing often leans to the strange side but this book has gone a stage further. i would guess that whatever he was on when he wrote this wasn't something he'd bought over the counter at the chemist. very odd book.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Previously, 7 Oct 2011
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Pat45 "Pats" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book might have had a clever concept but in reality it doesn't work. It is a cheap way of rehashing old fairy stories & for the young who read these stories it is a confusing book & they would be better off reading the original stories. For those old enough to understand the concept they have already moved on away from fairy stories.
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Previously by Allan, Etc Ahlberg (Library Binding - 12 April 2011)
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