Once Upon a Twice / Denise Doyen and Barry Moser
(Dragonfly Books, 2009)
This book has become a firm favourite since my son received it for Christmas.
Once Upon a Twice is a tale of caution. It’s a fable told not in the straightforward manner of most fables, but in a Carroll-ian, Dahl-ish way. In fact, it’s almost as if the BFG is telling the story. But after a few more years of language tutelage from Her Majester (boom tish), the Queen of England. And after developing more of an ear (boom tish) for poetry.
The mice are out at night-time. They are warned not to venture too far in the night, for fear of the moon in the sky and the eyes on the ground watching them.
But one mouse doesn’t listen, and appears to meet his doom as a result.
That’s the story in a nutshell. But it does not do the book justice. So here’s a taste of some of the words you’ll come across: scoutaprowl; runtunnel; preycautions; mouncelors; whispercroon; scritchscrambles; wanderyonder.
This book was given to my (almost three-year-old) son for Christmas. But while he enjoys listening to this story, it’s mostly because he enjoys listening to any story. He understands the gist of the tale, but the nonsense words are too nonsensey for him to break down and understand individually.
However, my (almost six-year-old) daughter adores this book. She was quite scared for the mouse during the first reading, but she quickly turned her mind to making sense of the words, and coming up with her own. She now reads the book to me!
Highly recommended for children aged five and up who adore nonsense words and aren’t too afraid of the darker side of fairy tales and fables. You can purchase Once Upon a Twice from Booktopia here, or from Book Depository here.
Have you read Once Upon a Twice? What did you think?
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