Book - 2007 | 1st U.S. ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The team behind The Runaway Dinner reverses direction in this clever pastiche of fairy tales in which everyone lives happily ever . . . before. Full color.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2007.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780763635428
Branch Call Number: AHLBE
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 25 x 28 cm.
Additional Contributors: Ingman, Bruce 1963-


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

LiztheLibrarian Jan 31, 2018

A very entertaining way of sharing the familiar fairytales we know. Kids will enjoy seeing how all the stories are connected.

vpl_childrens Dec 08, 2015

For ages 3-5. What was Jack doing before he climbed up the beanstalk? What were Jack and Jill arguing about before they went up the hill? Find out what your favourite storybook characters are doing before the action begins.

nypl_morningside_heights Jul 15, 2014

A different way of reteliing some fairy tales by going backward in time. Starts with the three bears looking in a window, then goes "previously...."

DaytonMuse Mar 11, 2013

It took a little effort to get my four-year-old to process what "previously" meant. It did end up being a fun book eventually and was requested three or four times before returning it.

ggbookreader Aug 27, 2012

Learn the prior/former life of several storybook or fairy tale characters. *Great reading for youth that want to know "What the characters were doing before this story?" and "What was their life like before this tale was told ?"

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

SPL_Childrens Jan 26, 2012

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 7


Add a Summary

SPL_Childrens Jan 26, 2012

If you think that you know fairy tales such as Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and Jack and the Beanstalk inside and out, think again! You really don’t know them from the very beginning until you’ve read Allan Ahlberg’s new picture book, Previously –a hilarious “romp” which takes the reader backwards through some of our most familiar and beloved fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
What was Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk) doing before his mother sent him to the market to sell the family cow? Well, he and his little sister, Jill, were climbing up and down a hill with a pail of water – which, as you know, was spilled when they fell. Why did they fall? Here’s the answer – they were too busy arguing over who had to carry that heavy pail of water.
Before their expedition up and down the hill that morning, Jack and Jill were sitting at the table eating breakfast (and arguing over who would claim the prize in the box of cornflakes) when The Frog Prince jumped onto the windowsill and gazed sadly at them. He was still unhappy at being transformed into a frog, having once been a handsome prince in love with a beautiful girl – none other than Cinderella.
Previously that day, Cinderella had met the Gingerbread Boy on the path as he was gleefully escaping from a little old man, a little old woman, a cow, a horse, a butcher, a baker, a group of children and a wily fox.
And so on.
As Allan Ahlberg’s imaginative picture book for children so cleverly reveals, there’s a beginning, or a “previously”, to every story!


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top