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Not Last Night But the Night Before    by Colin McNaughton & Emma Chichester Clark order for
Not Last Night But the Night Before
by Colin McNaughton
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

The boy featured in this picture has a number of unexpected guests come knocking at his door. As he explains,

'Not last night but the night before,
The man in the moon came knocking at the door,
He rushed right in; he didn't stop.
He spun me round like a spinning top.

As the parade of visitor continues, you'll recognize that they are all characters from famous children's fairy tales. They include the Three Little Pigs, Little Bo-peep, Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, Goldilocks, the Three Bears and many more familiar personages.

If you look closely you'll also notice that besides barging in the boy's front door, these characters dash up the stairs of his house and each one is carrying a colorfully wrapped gift. Once everyone is assembled in the boy's bedroom, they all join in a chorus of 'Happy Birthday to You'.

An imaginative and fanciful ode to birthdays, this story doesn't make a good deal of sense but, then, it doesn't have to. It is the type of silly, rhyming story that preschoolers seem to love and if the plot line is a little suspect, I doubt that they really care.

The illustrations are quite wonderful and all the characters are very familiar. What child hasn't perhaps wished that one day he or she might be paid a visit by some of these famous denizens of the world of make believe?

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