Cover image for And the dish ran away with the spoon
And the dish ran away with the spoon
Stevens, Janet.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[United States?] : Spoken Arts, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 audiocassette (24 min., 10 sec.) : analog + 1 book (1 volumes (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 x 30 cm)
When Dish and Spoon run away, their nursery rhyme friends Cat, Cow, and Dog set out to rescue them in time for the next evening's reading of their rhyme.
Reading Level:
AD 200 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.6 0.5 43508.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.5 2 Quiz: 24648 Guided reading level: L.
Format :
Sound Cassette

Sound Recording

On Order



Every night the rhyme gets read. Every night Dish and Spoon run away. And every night they return--until tonight!
Where can Dish and Spoon be? The rhyme can't go on without them, so Cat, Cow, and Dog set out to search for their missing friends. But where to start? Should they go north? East? Northeast? They'll just have to read Fork's map, ask directions, and try not to get lost in Little Boy Blue's haystack or under Miss Muffet's tuffet or in Big Bad Wolf's kitchen--"FEE, FI, FO . . ." Oh no. Could that be the giant?

Author Notes

JANET STEVENS is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book Tops & Bottoms, the ABBY Honor Book To Market, To Market, and Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

SUSAN STEVENS CRUMMEL, a high school teacher as well as an author, has collaborated with Janet Stevens, her sister, on several picture books. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Children who know their nursery rhymes--and nursery tales--will best appreciate this extension of the familiar rhyme that begins, "Hey diddle diddle." In this version, the characters discover that Dish and Spoon have not returned after running away together the night before. Cat, Dog, and Cow set out to find the pair and restore them to their rhyme before it gets read again. On their quest, they come to a fork in the road--a fork dressed in a loud, flowered shirt and sunglasses--who notes that he's from the same table setting as the spoon. This visual pun reflects the many comical plays on words in the text. Though a little long for preschoolers, the story will amuse kindergarten and primary-grade children, who have the best chance of "getting" the jokes. Their journey takes them to such literary landmarks as Little Boy Blue's haystack, the Big Bad Wolf's house, and Jack's beanstalk before they find their cohorts and return to their illustration. Stevens does a fine job of digitally integrating scanned objects such as cloth into the illustrations while subordinating those elements to the picture as a whole. The oversize, double-page spreads are best seen at a little distance, where their overall design is more evident. Brimming with energetic line and movement, the watercolor-and-colored pencil work includes many amusing details to delight observant children. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

The creators of Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! here serve up a concoction of visual treats and broad jokes as Cow, Cat and Dog search for their missing colleagues, Dish and Spoon. After previewing a page with the famous rhyme from Mother Goose, the authors showcase an alarmed feline rousing a reluctant Dog and Cow: "EVERYBODY UP! They didn't come back!" The cow, exhausted from his jumping, suggests that they simply eliminate the lost duo from the rhyme altogether: "We could end it, `and the cow took a nap until noon.' " Puns fly freely as the trio begin their search and come to a Hawaiian shirt-sporting fork (in the road), who says that he had spotted the missing characters; the utensil offers to "take a stab at" drawing them a map to aid the quest. Map in hand, the friends encounter an array of nursery-rhyme characters, including Spider, who regrets having frightened away Little Miss Muffet; and Wolf, dressed in a festive apron and bunny slippers, who attempts to lure Dog into a vat of boiling water. Additional stanzas to the original rhyme, which run along the sides of white-framed vignettes, help chronicle the ultimately successful hunt. Droll flourishes fill this Caldecott Honor artist's animated watercolor and colored-pencil pictures, enhanced by photographic and digital elements. Kids will gobble this up. Ages 5-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-A familiar Mother Goose rhyme is transformed into a rollicking picaresque adventure for school-aged children. The tongue-in-cheek humor requires a more mature reader to appreciate the wordplay and wry sarcasm of what amounts to a fractured fairy tale. This childhood standard begins to go haywire when the dish runs away with the spoon and the two fail to return. The cat, the cow, and the dog realize that they must set off in pursuit of their literary companions or their rhyme will be unavailable for reading in the evening to come. Their characters become quickly evident. The fiddling cat is a Type A organizer, the cow tends toward indolence, and the little dog is a cynical curmudgeon. When they have managed their interpersonal dynamics well enough to form a rescue party, they first encounter a literal four-pronged "fork in the road" that has indeed seen the errant place setting and agrees to "take a stab" at drawing a map of the folkloric kingdom. Little Boy Blue, Miss Muffet's spider, the Big Bad Wolf, and Jack and the beanstalk all make appearances during the quest. The disappearance is at last resolved happily, but not without a dash of danger and travail. Stevens's distinctive illustrations lend a great deal of personality and vitality to this droll expanded retelling. A familiarity with Mother Goose will greatly enhance readers' appreciation of this story but, even with that, some of the puns and double entendres may go over youngsters' heads. Still, those sophisticated enough to get it will love it.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.