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Not Last Night But the Night Before Hardcover – October 13, 2009

7 customer reviews

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Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next. Hardcover | More for ages 3-5

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1—Rhyming, repetitive text tells of a boy who reluctantly welcomes a parade of nursery-rhyme characters into his home. Everyone from the man in the moon to Little Miss Muffet bursts through the entryway wearing party clothes and carrying presents. Punch and Judy are nearly the last to show. To the little boy's surprise, they all begin to sing: "Happy Birthday to you,/Squashed tomatoes and stew,/Bread and butter in the gutter,/Happy birthday to you!" Colorful pencil and acrylic illustrations alternate between scallop-edged vignettes and full-bleed scenes rife with excitement. Preschoolers will enjoy the predictability of this tale, even if they don't recognize every character.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO END

About the Author

Colin McNaughton is the creator of more than seventy books for children, including DRACULA'S TOMB and THE ALIENS ARE COMING! He lives in London.

Emma Chichester Clark has written and illustrated many books for young readers, including the Blue Kangaroo stories. She lives in London.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076364420X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763644208
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,544,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A young boy, outfitted in his jammies, ran to the half door. Three black cats were `a knocking at his Dutch door and when he opened it . . . POW! They knocked him down flat. "Not last night, but the night before, the man in the man in the moon came knocking at the door." He was a bit more cautious and opened it a tad, but the moon rushed in and spun him around. Then there was a trio of little pigs peeking in at a little guy who looked very wary. Not good because when they rushed in he ended up flat on his back again.

"Not last night but the night before,
Little Bo-peep came knocking at the door.
Goodness gracious, fancy that.
She darted in and knocked me flat.
(She'd found her sheep.)"

In came Miss Muffet and there's Jack and Jill. Of course if they showed up, you'd have to have the three blind mice and Goldilocks. Ooops, "Crash! Bang! Wallop!" We mustn't forget the three bears. Just who else was going to show up at that door and flatten that boy?

This charming, whimsical story in rhyme is a virtual welcoming mat for many of our favorite nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters. This book would be a special treat for the youngster who is well versed in an assortment of characters. I loved how each character or set of characters was introduced peeking over the bottom half of the Dutch door or around the corner. Your preschooler will be anxious to turn the page and watch the ensuing hullabaloo when they rush in. This is a book just waiting for someone who would enjoy a few giggle moments!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Travis Ann Sherman VINE VOICE on January 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"NOT last NIGHT but the NIGHT beFORE, THREE black CATS came KNOCKing at the door."
Colin McNaughton's use of this ancient jump rope rhyme turns on some switch in my brain that MAKES me read the words aloud and MAKES me want to tap my foot, twirl the rope, move my hips. Thank goodness story hour is only day after tomorrow! I think I'll have the kids clap the rhythm.
McNaughton's choice of nursery rhyme characters too, even including the legendary Mister Punch, give us a chance to reintroduce children to that fading tradition creatively. And the book should definitely be read twice at least to fully appreciate Emma Chichester Clark's illustrations. The first time through, I was so hypnotized by the rhyme that I didn't notice Clark's clever detail building in the illustrations to bring the story to its end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted this one to work for story time because its clever, its cute and just a really well made story. Unfortunately, the preschoolers I read stories to don't always agree with what I want. They got kind of bored - the younger ones didnt catch onto the character thing, with the exception of Little Miss Muffett. I found myself trying to explain all the characters, sort of like "come on, don't you get it?" Never a good thing. The only exception was the Happy Birthday Song. They all loved that - I think that was the only time they paid attention to the story. So, even though I loved it, the kids were not that impressed. A mixed review on this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Johnson on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This charmingly illustrated book is currently keeping my 4 year old entertained. I tried reading it aloud to a group of his classmates and had a little less success. The title line gets repeated a lot and I think that type of repetition might have bored the kids like a joke that was dragging on too long before the punch line.

In a one on one situation this isn't a problem, because my son is having so much fun looking at the details in the great character illustrations that he is better able to cope with the repetitious manner of the book.
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