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. This 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 as parents.
Ruth [Krauss] broke rules and invented new ones, and her respect for the natural ferocity of children bloomed into poetry that was utterly faithful to what was true in their lives.
— The Horn Book
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
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