Not Last Night But The Night Before by Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark

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Not Last Night But The Night Before by Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Young children will love seeing what fairy tale characters get up to when they're not sticking to their normal stories. Great story, great rhymes, great illustrations. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: July 2009
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 978-1406304268

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Not last night but the night before, a large cast of characters came knocking at the door. The three little pigs, Goldilocks, the man in the moon and many others come rushing in, knocking the young boy over and barely paying him any attention. They each shoot straight upstairs and before he has time to think, there's yet another knock at the door, and another, and another. What are the parcels, balloons and cakes they're carrying with them?

The combination of Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark as good as sell Not Last Night But The Night Before before you even open the book - thankfully it more than lives up to the promise. Young children will love seeing the familiar characters outside their usual nursery rhymes and fairy tales, they'll laugh at the gentle slapstick as the young boy gets spun, flung, and knocked over, they might pick up on the clues as to what will happen at the end, and they'll smile at the payoff of the bustling surprise party.

The rhymes throughout are wonderful, each building on the repeated Not last night but the night before, X came knocking at the door, each with a fun punchline like I opened the door - she opened it wider - And I got squished by a big fat spider. It cries out to be read aloud, with actions and increasing exasperation at being rushed past time and again. I also really liked the touch of having a couple of non-rhyming asides tossed in for a nice change in between the short verses: it's how people read picture books anyway, so why not go with it?

Emma Chichester-Clark's illustrations are true to the spirit of the original fairy tales and nursery rhymes: they're traditional rather than twee, with a great sense of fun. Much like the text itself, there are a few playful winks that add an air of excitement. The scenes of the party itself and of the boy in bed with all his toys around him will particularly delight children and bear poring over a little longer than most pages, seeing who and what you can spot.

Not Last Night But The Night Before is a fine addition to any young child's bookshelf. Highly recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Other fun looks at fairy tale characters include Previously by Allan Ahlberg and Little Bo Peep's Troublesome Sheep by Cressida Cowell.

Buy Not Last Night But The Night Before by Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Not Last Night But The Night Before by Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Not Last Night But The Night Before by Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Not Last Night But The Night Before by Colin McNaughton and Emma Chichester-Clark at Amazon.com.


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