Imagine your whole day lived backward, from beginning to end. When you got up, you’d put on your jacket, then your shirt and pants, and over those your underwear, because after all, backward is backward, and on a backward day backward is the way everything has to be. You’d walk downstairs backward and sit on your chair backward with your back to the table, and when your parents greeted you in the morning you’d say, of course, “Good night.” But how long can a backward day go on? Just long enough for a smart kid to reverse the spell he’s cast on the whole household and return everything to normal. The Backward Day, a delightfully stylish picture book by the Caldecott Prize–winning team of Marc Simont and Ruth Krauss, brings to life a humorous and engaging reversal of ordinary reality that will enchant young children, as well parents.
“For some reason, young children get an absurd kick out of doing things backward, or spelling words backward, or otherwise behaving contrariwise for comic effect…Ruth Krauss’s 1950 picture book, The Backward Day–just revived in elegant hardback as part of the New York Review Children’s Collection–speaks directly to this anarchic impulse…Marc Simont’s appealing drawings reflect…the timeless sweetness of a family joke shared.” –The Wall Street Journal
"The Backward Day by Ruth Krauss, illus. by Marc Simont, celebrates one boy’s revelry as he tries to experience his day backward. With a bold palette, Simont’s inky illustrations enchant, as do the youngster’s family, whose 1950s primness gives way as they gamely play along with the boy’s antics." –Publishers Weekly
“She keeps on listening to the talk of small children, and as she transfers it to the page, her own imaginative use of their words is unlike that of anyone else writing for those ‘before six.’ ” —New York Herald Tribune
“The season for giving books to children comes again, and this column will be directed to parents, aunts, uncles who wish children to ‘make friends with books’…for youngsters under 7 we call attention to…The Backward Day, by Ruth Krauss.” —Los Angeles Times
“She always manages to find a focal point which comes right out of the real life of a young child.” —Junior Reviewers
Adults reading Krauss’s books are “catapulted into the world of children.” —The Atlantic Monthly