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Once Upon a Time, the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds) Hardcover – October 1, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–Here's a fresh approach to fractured fairy tales: take one small child's insatiable demand for Just one more story and add a sleepy parent's wish to get the bedtime ritual over with as quickly as possible. The result is this collection of eight condensed folktales. For example, Goldilocks and the Bears begins, There were some bears;/It doesn't really matter how many./There was a bunch./Let's get to the point: and ends, When the bears came back,/They found her asleep./She woke up, screamed, and ran home/So she could sleep in her own bed./Just like you. A few nursery rhymes (Hickory, dickory, dock,/A mouse ran up the clock./The clock struck eight./Oh, my, it's late!/So the mouse went straight to bed) and jokes round out the book. Blitt's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are amusing, with fine lines and soothing colors underscoring the comedy in the characters and situations. The cover shows an intensely alert toddler on the lap of a sleeping father, surrounded by several dozing characters (Goliath sucking his thumb, for example, and Red Riding Hood conked out next to the wolf dressed as Grandma). The sometimes sly, sometimes outrageous, sometimes simply silly humor will go over the heads of most preschoolers, but it's right on target for their older siblings (and tired parents, of course).–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. "Is there a pea under your bed? / Then what's your excuse? / Go to bed." Reading at bedtime to his kid, who refuses to fall asleep, a desperate dad shortens the old stories, twists the nursery rhymes, and adds his own messages (" Why are you still awake?") in hilarious, short, fractured fairy tales and verse. On each spacious double-page spread, Blitt's cartoon-style, line-and-watercolor pictures are both beautiful and funny, whether depicting the mayhem of the "Two Little Pigs" or the cozy view of Dad surrounded by books, desperate to get his sweet kid to sleep so that "everyone could live happily ever after." As the parent gets more exhausted, the stories get shorter, angrier, and wilder (when all those kids in the shoe won't go to bed, the old lady sells them to the zoo). The triumph of the child who refuses to bow to authority will appeal to preschoolers, and so will the loving bedtime scenes. Older elementary-school children who know the stories and can appreciate the parody will probably like this, too. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 3rd edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689866194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689866197
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our secret is out! We thought we were the only people who cut words out so the stories would go faster, but apparently not! The result is some hysterically mangled little classics (like the "two little pigs", and "there were some bears, it doesn't matter how many"). The first time we read this, I laughed myself silly. My kids aren't old enough to get all the jokes, but love it just the same. A winner---I'm buying more copies to give as gifts to some other parents who (some nights) struggle through too many bedtime stories...
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Format: Hardcover
I admit it ... I'm one of those parents who sometimes just wants to get storytime over with. We always read three books a night, and this will be in our rotation for quite some time, I predict. This is hilarious! A book with an attitude. Gotta love it. Still laughing ...
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Format: Hardcover
This is such a charming, fun and happy book. My children (2 and 4) giggle all the through the book.

We love it so much, I have purchased more for gifts. So many wonderful bed time stories with such a clever twist!
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because like all parents I find myself reading more books at bedtime than all the books on the NY bestseller list combined. It also makes light of books I have read a million times, and my girls recognize the plot or characters. But then they interrupt me to tell me I skipped a page or ask what happened to so-and-so. I think my husband and I enjoy the book more than my daughters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased as a gift after seeing a copy a friend had. Enjoyed laughing at how compactly the stories are told. Thought it would be fun for when a child asks "Just one more story... please..."
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a gift and now I am giving it to everyone I know with young children. Kloske has definitely been there--all those nights we parents cut out a few words from a story to get to sleep that much sooner--if the book weren't so funny, I'd feel like he told our secret. This book is hysterical. Our six year old gets the humor and the younger children love the stories. Now "are you asleep yet?" is a nighttime family catch phrase. It's well worth every penny.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is our favorite bedtime story. It is fun and witty. It is a book parents really enjoy reading to their children. Every parent can relate to the exhausted dad trying to shorten stories to get his child to bed. I keep copies on hand always, because we give this book as a gift at almost every birthday party and baby shower that we get invited to. You can't go wrong with this funny and fun to read book.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter and I both love this book. It's one of her favorites. She's 7 and she has enjoyed it for a solid two years since we received it. It's lighthearted and funny, and entertaining for adults and children both. The plot isn't important; a harried father desperately tries to get his child to go to sleep, and cuts more and more words out of each progressive bedtime story in a vain attempt to bring the struggle to an end.

Once upon a time there were some pigs. It doesn't matter how many.

Highly recommended. Check it out from the library if you want to make sure you and child like it first.
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