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Once Upon a Time, the End: (Asleep in 60 Seconds)    by Geoffrey Kloske & Barry Blitt order for
Once Upon a Time, the End
by Geoffrey Kloske
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This book of very short bedtime stories is intended to make you fall asleep fast - in sixty seconds or less. It starts, 'Once upon a time', with a child who 'WOULDN'T go to bed', demanding 'Just one more story' over and over again. What's a dad to do? This one cuts and cuts, so the stories go faster and faster and faster.

Geoffrey Kloske offers abbreviated versions of familiar bedtime tales from Chicken Little ('The sky is falling') to David and Goliath and Hey Diddle Diddle. Barry Blitt's illustrations perfectly portray 'the noble and tired father' doing the reading. In the interests of time, The Three Little Pigs become 'The Two Little Pigs'. Recognize 'Small girl / Red hood / Big wolf / In the woods'? And here, Sleeping Beauty, after her own long rest, advises readers to 'Go to sleep!'

Somehow, all these retellings end with snoozing characters, and the stories get shorter and shorter as dad gets ever more desperate - 'There was an old lady / Who lived in a shoe ... When kids wouldn't go to bed, / She sold them to the zoo.' Read Once Upon a Time, the End to little ones - they'll laugh themselves to sleep.

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