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There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish Hardcover – September 18, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions; First Edition edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761461965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761461968
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 10.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Ahoy there, me hearties! This is a fun new take on “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” The colorful and zany cartoon art does a phenomenal job of capturing the absurdity and hilarity of this outrageous spin-off. A harum-scarum old pirate encounters misfortune at sea as he ingests one unpalatable item after another. From a whole fish to a chest of gold to a large ship, these unappetizing items lead to the untimely demise of this sea-worn picaroon. The text is engaging and melodic. Boys and girls alike will love to sing each comical new verse. Anticipation builds as each item introduced grows larger and larger and children eagerly await the dramatic ending. The digitally created illustrations are boldly colorful and delightful. Children will linger on each page, not wanting to miss any details. Although many collections contain numerous versions of this tale, this one is modern and highly appealing. The cumulative and repetitive nature of the story is great for actively involving the youngest readers/listeners.–School Library Journal

About the Author

Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including The Busy Tree, There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog, and There Was an Odd Princess Who Swallowed a Pea. Her books have received such honors as the Giverny Award for Best Children's Science Picture Book, the Growing Young Readers' Book Award, the American Booksellers Association "Book Sense Pick of the Lists", a Learning Magazine Teachers' Choice Award for Best Children's Picture Book, a Parents' Choice Award, a Governor's First Grade Book Selection for the states of New Jersey and Arizona, a Barnes & Noble Author of the Month two years in a row, and a Grand Canyon Reader's Award winner and honors recipient, among others. A former educator, Jennifer now writes full time from her home in the Midwest. Learn more: www.jenniferwardbooks.com

Steve Gray is the illustrator of There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea, There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog, and There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish, written by Jennifer Ward, as well as Farmer McPeepers and His Missing Milk Cows by Katy Duffield. His six-minute animated short film, Santa’s Camels, has been shown in more than sixty film festivals around the world. He lives in Redondo Beach, California. Learn more: www.stevegrayillustration.com


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Customer Reviews

One night, we had to read it 5 times.
Herschel Greenberg
The pirate jargon is great: "Yo ho ho! Watch his belly grow!" and the illustrations are colorful and fun.
Cathe
My kids were laughing the whole time.
Richard A.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Herschel Greenberg VINE VOICE on December 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As others have pointed out, this is a twist on the little old lady poem from my childhood. I got this for my son. Of course, this new version removes any notion that somebody dies (it is amazing how violent some original children rhymes once were).

Each verse escalates the object the pirate eats, ending with an entire pirate ship. The rhyme is catchy--so much so, that my 3 year old son knows most of the words already.

The art is fun. We especially like the bird and the fish that are inside the pirate's belly. They are the best part of the story and art style. Each time the pirate swallows something, the bird and fish scene changes to incorporate that new object. It gets pretty funny by the end.

Overall, we judge a book's success by the number of times my son requests we read it to him. One night, we had to read it 5 times. That makes it a very successful book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miss Darcy VINE VOICE on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fun twist on the story "There was an old lady." The illustrations are vivid, with rich, deep colors, and the reactions of the sidekick fish and bird (whom he swallows first)are funny throughout. The story is fun to sing aloud, especially if you speed up as you go. This is definitely a "read it again!!!" type of book.

The pirate's shirt seems to get smaller and smaller as his stomach gets larger and larger. Details such as this are signs of a good match between author and illustrator. Five stars!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Charme HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a clever takeoff on the classic story about the old woman who swallowed a shoe. My 22 month old granddaughter enjoys looking at the very colorful pictures and likes the sing song rhythm of the story as it repeats each item that the pirate swallows. Sometimes I read it 3-4 times in a row at her insistence.

Update February 27, 2014: This is still a bedtime favorite for my 3 year 1 month old granddaughter, and my 10 month old grandson likes to look at the pictures when I read it to her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cathe VINE VOICE on November 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A twist on The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly--this old pirate is swallowing pirate-related items, each more ridiculous than the one before as he progress from fish to treasure chests, and eventually to a sail and an entire ship. The pirate jargon is great: "Yo ho ho! Watch his belly grow!" and the illustrations are colorful and fun. The only thing that didn't quite work for me was that unlike the Old Lady version where after the fly, she actually has a reason for the successive items she swallows--there is no reasoning in this book, so the reader never really knows why the pirate is swallowing all of these weird items. In fact, the fish is the only reasonable thing that he does swallow and that's the one that the author says "Why did he swallow it? I don't know."

Anyway--despite that I think that this book is a fun choice that will especially appeal to boys and I will be adding it to my elementary school library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Avast there reader! I'm holdin' in me digits a piece o' book treasure. It be written by a woman callin' erself Jennifer Ward. I ain't much fer books, but that woman uses the King's English effectual like. Like a captin steerin a galleon through rough seas.

I'm liking those purrty pictures on the pages so much that I'm hooked like a sea bass on a line. If I got you pegged, I'm thinking' you lubbers might be wantin a look at this book yourselves. Read it twice, and you'll be doubloon your fun. That sounds smart as paint, don't it?

I'm a might particular about reading books for little deck hands. To be a member of my crew, the book has to be fun and has to have rhyme. Repetition be a requirement too, like barrels of rum on a long voyage. And it can't be containin' those long dictionary words that only those swabs with lots of book learnin' can make sense of. But mostly to map my way from port to port, it needs a hand expert at sketchin, with waves of color and size.
AAAAART makes the book sail.

"There Was and Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish" is one of those rare children's books that does it all for me. It's got rhyme, fun, silliness, repetition, big colorful pages, and aaaart so good your eyes will pop out of their sockets like the eyes of the pirate you'll meet in this book.

Obviously I like this book. A LOT! The only change I'd make would be to write the word "AYE" on one of the pirate's eyes. Every pirate needs an aye patch, you know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. JEFFREY MCMAHON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Pirates swallow big objects in a nursery rhyme with art that I'd give a 6 out of 10. Funny, I'm reading my twin two-year-old toddlers another book on the same theme: Old Macdonald Had a Dragon by Ken Baker and I find the latter book more imaginative with better art work evidenced by the fact that my children like this book more.

There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish is a bit repetitive with distended stomachs and different oversized objects stuffing those stomachs with rhymes, but there's not much meaning to the book. It's silly and perhaps entertaining for a toddler, but I expected more.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my two kids, 3 and 5 years old. It's now their absolute favorite. The book starts with a rhyme and then builds on it; I read it in a sing-song voice and the kids finish the rhyme with the last two lines that remain the same through the book - THEY LOVE IT!! (So with every couple of pages, the story gets repeated with another line added and my kids finish with "YO, HO HO! (and the rest of the rhyme)". My husband and I love it, too - it ends up being such a fun thing we do together. The artwork is amazing, although as another reader said, it's probably too gorgeous for young kids to admire. But my husband and I love it and the kids will appreciate it in time. I'm about to order other books by this author.
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