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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
69
The Old Woman Who Named Things
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on July 13, 2015
This is a beautiful story for children who are ready for more text and a slightly deeper story. The old woman has outlived her friends and is lonely. She doesn't want to outlive anything else that she cares about, so she only names things that will last longer than she will. That concept is difficult for the smallest children to grasp, but some will understand her loneliness and fear of losing loved ones. It teaches the lesson of trusting in love because we must - that is our humanity. And, in the end, it is a gift, whether we outlive those we love or not. The old woman learns that in this lovely book by Cynthia Rylant, one of my favorite authors.
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on February 12, 2010
This very old woman lives alone in a friendly old house, sleeps in a friendly old bed, sits in a friendly old chair and drives a friendly old car. Does this have anything to do with why she doesn't want any NEW friends? Yes, she's afraid. You'll have to discover just what she's afraid of. And I think you'll understand.

She may be old and tough and determined, but she does have a weak side. And that weakness somehow turns her into a different person--or, maybe, it turns her back into the person she once was.

You'll feel the aloneness, and you'll discover what that weakness is (something we all have) that brings her happiness and even excitement.

Picture Book: Realistic Fiction

The Creative Teacher: Activities for Language Arts (Grades 4 through 8 and Up)
2 people found this helpful
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on December 30, 2016
My kindergartener brought it home from the school library and I had to buy it. As an adult, I was a bit put off on my first read. The idea that the main character has outlived everyone important to her so she isn't going to allow herself to get attached to things that she'll outlive is heavy. I dreaded the gagillion questions I was expecting about death and being lonely, but they didn't come. My kids (3, 6, and 8) focused very little on that aspect of the book and I quickly grew to love the book as much as they do.
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on January 29, 2017
I loved this short unique story . Missing her letter connections , which made her feel lonely, she eventually found a new friend. For me
she represents the strength and resilience of older senior women living alone. Susan
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on August 2, 2008
We have loved many of Cynthia Rylant's books, including the Henry and Mudge series and the Mr. Putter and Tabby series. However, I think this is her best book of all. The old woman reminded me so much of my late mother, who did name things, and also didn't want to get close to anything new in her old age, afraid they would outlive her. Happily, she and the old woman in the story both took a chance. I still tear up everything I read this book.

The illustrations are beautiful and the message is wonderful. I will continue to read this long after my kids are grown, probably when I am the old woman naming things!
One person found this helpful
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on September 2, 2017
Cynthia Rylant is brilliant. This is one of my favorite children's books. This sweet measured story builds the love between a woman and a dog. It's a comfort to read and I never tire of picking this book up.
One person found this helpful
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on July 8, 2006
Ten years after first reading this aloud at circle time, Rylant's lovely story of the old woman who has to decide to, once more, take a chance on love and loss, has become a beloved old friend to me. Brown's quirky illustrations are quite memorable--especially the joyous spread near the end of the story in which the dog, with his tongue hanging out, happily sticks his head out the window of the old woman's car that is driving him home. Cynthia Rylant has won a Newbery for MISSING MAY, and has authored HENRY AND MUDGE, the greatest easy reader series ever published. THE OLD WOMAN WHO NAMED THINGS is absolutely right up there with the best of her work.
22 people found this helpful
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on March 21, 2018
Thank you! What a classic!
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VINE VOICEon June 18, 2003
I bought this wonderful little book because I love Ms. Rylant's book, "Cat Heaven" and had intended to give it to my grandson, but I'm keeping it for myself I love it so much (I can read it to him when he visits!) The illustrations are awesome. I love the little old lady's outfit, complete with flowered baggy pants and pointy-toed cowboy boots. Readers from age 5 to 99 out there need this book about love, life and loss. It'll make you smile.
43 people found this helpful
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on November 29, 2017
Still makes me cry.
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