Wednesday, July 16, 2014

There was (another) Old Lady

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
by Rashin

I don't want the title of this post to deceive anyone. I am a fan of the "Old Lady" stories. I love the repetition and the predictability for young readers / listeners.

I love the bright colors used in the illustrations for this version. However, I have to admit I was very disappointed when I discovered the picture clues I thought were going to be included for each of the animals swallowed did not happen. Here is what I mean. When opening the book you see a fly swirling through the air onto the title page. On the next page, the old lady has swallowed the fly. On this same page, you see a spider hanging from a web in the upper left hand corner of the page. this makes it easy for young children to predict who might be eaten next (because there is also a cat on the page). When the page is turned, you do indeed see the lady swallow the spider. This pattern continues until the old lady swallows the dog. The next page is a cross section of the old lady's stomach with the animals chasing each other in a circle - very funny, but the pattern has stopped. The next page shows the old lady attempting to swallow the cow - also very funny, especially the milk squirting from the udder! The predictability is back once the cow has been swallowed because in the background you see a very worried purple horse.

Now, everyone knows that when the old lady swallows a horse, she dies - of course! This version actually shows the old lady lying on the ground with her feet sticking out from behind some bushes and a transport old lady angel flying off. Miraculously once the old lady has died the animals are able to escape from her belly.

Not the most realistic story ever written - because A. you can't really swallow all of those animals, and B. animals don't talk, as they do with speech bubbles in this version. Even with the issue of the cow not being on the page after the dog has been swallowed, I like this book a lot. I love the bright, bold colors and the interaction of the animals throughout. I believe this title would be a great addition to a collection of children's picture books, and for a personal collection of "Old Lady" who swallowed "whatever" books.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, North South Books Publishing Company has provided a complimentary digital copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

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