Previously is a picture book that explores the lives and interconnectedness of some of the most famous characters in Fairy Tales. Ever wonder what Goldilocks was doing traipsing through the deep dark woods that morning? Had she skipped breakfast? And what was the relationship between Jack and Jill exactly? Were they brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend, or just friends? And could that Jack be the same guy who climbed the Beanstalk?
If your child is interested in Fairy Tales (or perhaps a particular Fairy Tale that he insists you not only read over and over each night, but you also have to make up your own versions of it throughout the day, and it starts, “Once Upon a time there was boy named Little Red Christopher…” and you cannot possibly stand to read or tell that story one more time) then this book is an excellent way to introduce them to the concept of before and after. Previously, my son did not use the word previously. Previously, he said things like “before” and “not now”. Previously, I wouldn’t have thought of teaching him this word. Previously, I hadn’t realized how important a word it is.
Children ages 3-6 will enjoy guessing which of their favorite characters was “dancing her socks off with the Prince”, “climbing out of someone else’s window”, or “arguing over who should carry the bucket”. Alan Ahlberg’s prose is simply written yet surprisingly poignant and Bruce Ingman’s illustrations give new life to the classic tales and their characters.
Interested in more books that explore fun with Fairy Tales? Check out Waking Beauty or Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox or Mo Willems’ Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. These titles are all available at your local library.