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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Hardcover – September 1, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The artwork is colorful and detailed, and there is plenty of little details for a smartalecky kid (or a smartalecky adult) to pick out of the background. My son loved this book and so did I. I would heartily recommend it. I will actively seek out other books by Simms Tayback.
The illustrations are colorful, expressive and silly. The cut out that grows to accomodate each creature the woman consumes and the clever commnents of the about to be eaten animals really add something special to this book. The repetition is also a wonderful way to help kids read along.
I remember this folk tale from when I was young. I often "sing" the book as we read. My daughter loves that. Buy this book - you won't be dissappointed. It sure to become a family favorite.
I think you probably know the song already, but it never hurts to sum it up. As we all know, there was an old lady who swallowed a fly. "I don't know why she swallowed the fly. Perhaps she'll die". To rid herself of the fly problem she eats a spider. Then, having obviously not thought this through, she eats a bird to catch the spider who, in turn, is supposed to catch the fly. I'd like to point out that when we get the occasional stomach-side view of the situation, nobody's doing any catching. Obviously the old lady isn't explaining to each animal what its job's supposed to be as she throws them down the hatch. By the time the old lady swallows a cat, she's pretty far gone. Her bloodshot eyes (nobody does good bloodshot eyes like Mr. Taback) roll in her head as she lunges haphazardly throughout the countryside. The cat is followed by a dog, the dog is followed by a cow. Apparently cows are good dog-catchers. Finally, she swallows a horse, and (best line in the song), "She died of course!". The author offers a sly moral at the end that is hard to contest. "Moral: Never swallow a horse".Read more ›
The poem is the old familiar American classic, but Taback adds some original elements by allowing the animal characters to comment on the poem as it goes along, all the way to the shocking conclusion. Children will enjoy the colorful pictures and the poem, and adults will enjoy Taback's wry sense of humor.
This book was a Caldecott Honor book, but I think it deserved to win the Caldecott Medal. Full recommendation!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. Every kid should be read this book many times in their growing years.Published 10 days ago by Beth Foster
This is one of those books that I remember from my childhood and it never quite set in how morbid it is! Read morePublished 29 days ago by MommieHoff
So I was in Korea of all places, at a used book store, and I stumbled across a copy of this book. It was a bit tattered so I left it, but not before reading the whole thing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mike P.
I wouldn't describe a book with a large ripped page as being in "very good" condition. This in addition to a few other small rips & several bends makes the book not worth... Read morePublished 2 months ago by kylee
A classic everyone should own. It never fails to spark off-the-wall questions and kids love to participate as much as I enjoy reading/singing. Read morePublished 3 months ago by abdullahi mohammed