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I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie Hardcover – October 1, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the awfully silly I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, children's librarian and author Alison Jackson bypasses pilgrims completely and cuts straight to the stomach of Thanksgiving in America--dinner. A slightly dizzying new spin on the well-loved cumulative rhyming song "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," this madcap picture book stars a ravenously hungry relative who comes to Thanksgiving dinner with a pie. Since she eats the pie in its entirety before she even gets in the house, she has to swallow some cider (that "rumbled and mumbled and grumbled inside her"). If you must know, "She swallowed the cider to moisten the pie, / The Thanksgiving pie, which was really too dry, /Perhaps she'll die." The story continues in this vein, as we watch the hosts grow visibly alarmed--and the children visibly delighted-- by the old lady's surreal appetite and supernaturally increasing girth. Illustrator Judith Byron Schachner--creator of the acclaimed Willy and May--has masterfully captured this ludicrous tale in hilariously haywire pen-and-ink drawings, splashed with watercolor. Kids will love this romping, rhyming frolic through a familiar favorite. (Ages 4 to 8)

From Publishers Weekly

The illustrations freshen up the old cumulative chestnut. "The old lady herself is a tour de force of visual slapstick," wrote PW. "Even the typography joins the fun." Ages 3-8.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: NP (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525456457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525456452
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
*Hilarious* is the only word to describe this picture book which is a take off of the classic "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.
When an "old lady" comes to Thanksgiving dinner she swallows a pumpkin pie--whole. To wash down the pie (which was really too dry) she gulps some cider which "rumbles and mumbles and grumbles" inside her. Then to the horror of the adults and the delight of the children she gobbles the entire Thanksgiving feast!
The illustrations cap off the delightful text and add even more fantastic humor as the old lady grows in proportion with each outlandish bite.
A must read for story time--kids will be giggling more with every turn of the page. And you'll be "thankful" you don't have such a relative. Or do you?
Karma Wilson
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Format: Hardcover
Alison Jackson has written a superb take-off on the classic, I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. In this very funny, very hip rendering, the old lady with an unbelievable appetite, swallows first the pie, the very pie she brought to the Thanksgiving feast. This is followed by a jug of cider..."to moisten the pie which was really too dry", then a roll, a squash, the salad, the turkey and on and on.....With each addition, she grows bigger and fatter to the delight and amusement of the family children and the horror of their parents, as they watch their entire holiday meal disappear. Ms Jackson's text is complimented by Judith Byron Schachner's wonderfully expressive and detailed illustrations. Together they have authored a holiday classic, complete with charming, surprise ending, that will be enjoyed by your family for many years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
My children enjoyed this book emensely! Wonderful illustrations ! A new "Thanksgiving read" tradition!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love singing stories to my elementary students in music class. Over time, the students learn the tunes as well and sing with me. They enjoy visuals which is why the thought of musical "story time" is usually a success for me. I own almost all of the "There Was an Old Lady" stories. There are books for each holiday and season. The students always become excited when they see one of these books in my hand to "read-sing" together!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. My 3&1/2 year old son loves it. We read a lot of books and this one has already been ready many times. We can pretty much recite the whole thing. Must say though, maybe instead of, "Perhaps she'll die" the author could of used something less grim. I don't mind it but for people who do, just know that "Perhaps she'll die" comes after each and everything she swallows.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a music teacher for grades K-3. Never have I seen kids react so intensely to a sing-along book as they did for all the "I Know an Old Lady..." books. This one especially sparks kids' minds and brings so many other subjects into play. Kids like talking about Thanksgiving as it's one of the few holidays both kids and teachers openly celebrate. This book brought about questions of traditional food and activites as well as the health repercussions of stuffing ourselves. In the end, kindergarten through third grade eyes will sparkle to see the Old Lady grow into a balloon!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is so much fun! it is very clever...great book to give to a child around thanksgiving time as it talks about all the things that might wind up on your thanksgiving day table...and concludes with the big parade! the illustrations are chaotically fun and colorful and the rhyming is entertaining as the story unfolds. the only reason i'm not giving it five stars is...every page ends with..."Perhaps she'll die!"...which is of course is the way the poem goes. But, i would much preferred the author to say, for example, "She swallowed the cider to moisten the pie, the Thanksgiving pie that was really too dry...WE DON'T KNOW WHY"...instead of "perhaps she'll die".

Other than that...lots of fun!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got tired of the "fly" version of this poem decades ago, and the "shell" version and others never really impressed me (I guess I'm tougher to please than I'd have thought...), UNTIL...she decided to swallow the entire Thanksgiving dinner! When I read it, I DON'T just "read" it, but we all SING it together, and the children I teach BEG for it, all autumn long!
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