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Sunday, 4 January 2015


January 4 2015

Allan Ahlberg has had several books using existing children's characters. One of our favourites is Each Peach, Pear, Plum. Previously is a more recent offering. Illustrated by Bruce Ingram, Ahlberg weaves a story starting with Goldilocks arriving home and then taking it back to what happened previously. He then manages to incorporate several other characters, I never even knew that Jack of Beanstalk fame was the same Jack who was Jill's brother, now we know what they needed that water for.

It is a very clever book, and fabulous illustrations. It  has probably introduced Linus to several characters that he isn't familiar with but should be. There are few traditional books around with close to the proper stories of Cinderella,  Jack & The Beanstalk and others. We tend to only see variations on them, be they elephant versions of Cinderella or appearances with the Mr. Men. I can see Previously being a great reading book for early schoolchildren, there's so much to get out of it and it's lots of fun.

Next, keeping the traditional theme we read a version of The Elves and The Shoemaker. We have a fairly abridged and corrupt version of this Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the original dating back to the early nineteenth century. In the version we have to reward the elves for making them great shoes, the shoemaker and his wife make the elves some shoes, hardly a great reward.
Here's Kermit The Frog in a better version!

Our final book was a Nick Sharratt/Sally Symes lift the flap book, A Boot, a Hat, Now Who Is That? After a run of reading younger books, Linus seems to be done with this one. We did try reading some of the words, which he was getting, I managed a couple too. 

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