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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Hardcover – Illustrated, September 1, 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 396 ratings

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"Halloween Hustle" by Charlotte Gunnufson
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3. From cover to moral (never swallow a horse), this cleverly illustrated version of an old folk favorite will delight children. Each page is full of details and humorous asides, from the names of different types of birds, to a recipe for spider soup, to the rhyming asides from the spectating animals. As for the old lady, with her toothy grin and round bloodshot eyes, she looks wacky enough to go so far as to swallow a horse. A die-cut hole allows readers to see inside her belly, first the critters already devoured and, with the turn of the page, the new animal that will join the crowd in her ever-expanding stomach. The pattern of the lady's dress, with its patchwork of bright, torn colored paper pasted on black, is used as the background motif for the words. The text is handwritten on vivid strips of paper that are loosely placed on the patterned page, thus creating a lively interplay between the meaning of the words and their visual power. All in all, this illustrator provides an eye-catching, energy-filled interpretation that could easily become a classic in itself.?Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A die-cut hole approach to an old favorite that offers a view of the old lady's stomach and its expanding bestiary. The text has the look of a ransom note (a touch the devoured creatures might appreciate), but the jaunty colors--set skipping by a judicious use of black--keep the dark side of the poem at bay. Those accustomed to the streamlined version of this ditty won't know what to make of the comments scattered throughout the pages, little asides quipped by animals not yet swallowed; these rhyme with the ``perhaps she'll die'' line of the poem. Fortunately, these additions can be easily ignored or inflated according to taste, and full concentration given to the poem itself and the wild, eye-catching artwork: It is good fun to watch the old lady bulge and bloat, and the sheer corniness of the verse continues to be deeply gratifying. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 12.7 ounces
  • Hardcover : 36 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0670869392
  • Lexile Measure : AD320L
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0670869398
  • Grade Level : Preschool - 2
  • Product Dimensions : 8.25 x 0.37 x 10.25 inches
  • Publisher : Viking Books for Young Readers; 1st Edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: : English
  • Reading level : 3 - 7 years
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 396 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
396 global ratings
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