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*And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon* by Janet Stevens & Susan Stevens Crummel - buy it online

And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
by Janet Stevens & Susan Stevens Crummel
ages 4-8 56 pages Harcourt May 2001 Hardcover Recommended at 5 stars of 5   

"Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed to see such a sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon."

Until this unique take on the well-known story, the tale has always ended the same, but suddenly there is mayhem in fairytale land when "They didn't come back!" as planned, beginning the rhyme all over again. So cat, dog and cow are off by the light of the silvery moon to discover the fate of the dish and the spoon before all the beloved nighttime stories are turned upside down. If this mystery isnít sorted out, who will ever be able to get a good night's sleep?

Thankfully, the confused trio runs into Fork, who "makes a stab" at drawing a map, one that includes the homes of Little Miss Muffet, Little Bo Peep, Little Boy Blue, the Three Bears, the House That Jack Built and even Humpty Dumpty's wall. Lurching from one possible hiding place to the next, cat, dog and cow are soon frustrated, leaving Little Boy Blue behind in hopes of better information from Little Miss Muffet.

"With the blow of a horn and the cow in the corn,
the three headed off to the west-
the cranky ol' dog and the fiddlin' cat
and the cow who just wanted to rest."

The fearless trio even approaches the Big, Bad Wolf in their quest. After many false leads the troop discovers their prey in the most unimaginable place, as dish and spoon come crashing into view, though a bit the worse for wear when dish goes all to pieces.

The fanciful illustrations are energetic and humorous, tiny faces charged with the intensity of the hunt for the rest of their rhyme. With happy energy the thoughtful friends traipse all over the Forkís map, not content until reunited with dish and spoon. This colorful romp teaches more than one lesson as friends search for their missing pals: how to read a (scribbled) map, how to assess the intentions of others (like a hungry and devious Wolf!) and the importance of asking for help from others. Now that these enchanting, lifelike animals have intruded upon the kitchen, this particular children's rhyme will never be the same!


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  Luan Gaines/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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