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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Caldecott Honor Book) Hardcover – September 1, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
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!
This was one of the first books I put on my list.
I remember being mesmerized by it as a child and I loved the ending. The illustrations are crazy and especially fun for kids. There's a little bit of suspense in which each character will swallow next as the book goes on and it makes for many hilarious reactions when being read to kids - it would be especially fun to see this book read to a large group of kids... maybe at a library reading or something.
I can see my family wanting to read this book again and again, as I did when I was young. I am so glad it was so easy to find and purchase this book through amazon. I was able to cross a book on my list to purchase, at an inexpensive price, and that made me very happy.
Caution for parents who for some reason do not want any references to death in a young child's book: The refrain, "I guess she'll die" is repeated over and over, though the whole story deals with absurd situations and it is obvious that "real death" is not being spoken of.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here's a mini grammar lesson for whomever listed this book. "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly" (English and Chinese edition)
The operative word "AND"... Read more
Enjoyed reading this story to my boys. It was fun to see their eyes as the woman ate more and more animals. Really cute!Published 1 month ago by Amber
My kids loved this book and it was one of the first books my then 3 year old could read. Now I got it for my grandkids and hope they love it too!Published 2 months ago by Suzanne McGinnis
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
a silly story retell that uses shapes and spiral text to keep the children's interest
If you sing the story... Read more
This story was one of the Caldecott Honor Medal winners in the year 1998. This adaptation of a 1940’s famous folk poem was illustrated with ridiculously accurate drawings that were... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Wilma Rodz
Fabulous picture book. We loved it with both our children and buy it again and again as gifts for others. Really fun to look at and read because of the unique design and artwork.Published 5 months ago by Avid Amazon Customer