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I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  887 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Nadine Bernard Westcott's fresh, rollicking interpretation brings this favorite folk song to life, which its full-color illustration brimming with silly good fun and marvelous antics sure to be enjoyed again and again.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 7th 2004 by Megan Tingley Books (first published 1980)
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I read the book "I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" by Nadine Bernard Westcott. The book is about an old lady who at first swallows a fly. In the book you do not find out why she swallowed the fly. To get rid of the fly she swallows a spider. She continues to swallow other animals to get rid of the one she swallowed before. In the end she swallows a horse and she dies.

In the book there are a lot of characters that do not last very long. The main character of the book is the Old Lady. The Ol
Having read this story myself as a child, reading it for my daughter was a pleasant surprise! This is an illustration taken from a nursery rhyme children sing. The author of the rhyme is unknown but Nikki Smith retold it perfectly! This is an extremely entertaining story about an Old women who swallows a fly- we don’t know why she’ll swallow a fly, perhaps she’ll die! She continuously eats animal after animal trying to get rid of the previous. The author uses rhyming that is EYFS friendly and ch ...more
Meg McGregor
A fun time is to be had by all when reading this hilarious version of the traditional story!

That lady was certainly hungry. After eating a fly, a spider, bird, cat, dog, goat, cow, and finally a horse, she was finally full!

What an appetite.

Your little one will love hearing this improbably story over and over again.

UPDATE: I have started saying the phrase: Maybe she is a little crazy" instead of "Maybe she'll die!"

Older "little ones" started asking questions about death, so I changed the text.

I d
Cj Lee
No matter how many times I read this to my daughter, I never get bored or tired of reading this book to her. I love the way the story rhymes and you can actually sing the whole book into a song. The book is filled with wonder vocabulary words. And the author writes this book in a sequence to swallowing things from small to the largest. The book also teaches children a cause and effect. Because the old lady swallowed all the things in the book, of course she is full and cannot eat no more.

Jun 18, 2009 Leslie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children of all ages
Shelves: children-s-lit
What a delightful book for young and old alike. My 6 year old and I already knew the song when we checked this charming little book out from the library but were delighted to find the sheet music and all 8 rounds on the endpapers. We sang ourselves into a silly frenzy. I might shouldn't have done that so near bedtime. He loves the part "Perhaps she'll die" that comes at the end of each round. I guess the death of a sweet old lady cracks kids up these days.
Did I mention the illustrations are f
This story seems more like a "singing game" when you read it to the children. The author seemed to have quite a bit of fun with the words when she wrote it. The old woman in the story begins by swallowing one critter, and then, as she continues to add more and more, the children get a chance to practice their memory skills. There are also many rhymes throughout the story, which involves the children in the action, keeping their interest.


The teacher and the class will sit in a large cir
Olivia Lavelle
I know an old lady who swallowed a fly by Nadine Bernard Westcott was a silly book. I found that it had no real meaning behind it. This book was pure entertainment for the young kids. It was not one of my favorite books to read, because I could not relate to the book in any kind of way. On the other hand, this book started off with musical notes, so I immediately thought this was told through a song. The lyrics were also telling us about the story in a unique kind of way. This book definitely wa ...more
Meg McGregor
A fun time is to be had by all when reading this hilarious version of the traditional story!

That lady was certainly hungry. After eating a fly, a spider, bird, cat, dog, goat, cow, and finally a horse, she was finally full!

What an appetite.

Your little one will love hearing this improbably story over and over again.
Comfort Olajide
Oct 31, 2012 Comfort Olajide rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mrs Jane Hyche
Recommended to Comfort by: Part of books resommended in class
I read this book it is about an old lady who swallowed a fly,then a spider, a Bird, a dog, a goat, a cat,, a cow, and a horse. The illustrator is very creative and colourful. I will put this book on my shelf. It is a good rhyme sing along story for children as they can repeat all the animals the old lady swallowed.

Learning Experience:

Literacy (Rhyming words): I will teach the children rhyming words such as dog and hog, pot and hot and cat and hat rhyme.

Math: After reading the book to the childr
Amber Lynch
This story is about an old lady who swallowed a fly but does not know why! The old lady then decides to swallow all of these other animals in a particular order so that animal can catch the animal that they most desire because they are trying to catch the fly. She dies in the end for swallowing an animal much to large for her!

This book can lead into a sequence lesson. The students can retell and put the animals in the order that they she swallowed them. The students also love to sing along with
Maddie Scheer
Personal: I thought this book was interesting. I know that it is a classic but I didn't really see the excitement of the book throughout it and it didn't really click well with me. I thought it was clever but a little too silly.
Purpose: I believe that it would be a read aloud enrichment for Preschool students. It would be a good introductory to poetry and how students could write poetry themselves using the same key elements.
QuaNiyah Cooke
Growing up my granny use to sing this book as a song to me but I never knew that it came from an actual book. From the book I learned animals and the sounds the make and also how to put a farm in order based on what the old lady swallowed .
Shelby Dennis
I thought this book was funny and cute. Who would think that someone would actually think that swallowing an animal to get another animal would make you feel better is just plain silly. I loved the pictures and the details of the animals frowning at the old lady like shes crazy.I heard this book read aloud in class but, didn't really connect to it until I read it myself. Looking at the pictures while reading it made me like this book a lot more than before. I recommend this book for ages 2-7.

My kids all loved this book. The pictures are so funny.
Destiny Dawn Long
My daughter really enjoys these sing-along books. And I like them, because they remind me of songs that I only half-remember. It's a nice way to engage toddlers with music, by using familiar folk songs that most parents will know.

The illustrations are playful and fun. The artistic style is alright--on the positive column, I think there's a lot going on to keep young eyes engaged and entertained.
I loved this book when I was younger.
The traditional poem. So based my rating on illustrations which are ok, but nothing great.
Cute with funny illustrations
I had to laugh when I read this--when you get to the last line ("She died, of course" accompanied by a picture of her laying down, holding flowers), one of my preschoolers said, "No she didn't." So, at least I didn't scar anybody by reading this in story time. I really love the little details in the illustrations here (like the fact that she didn't swallow her own cat and dog, thank goodness)--they capture the ridiculousness of this rhyme. And the classic rhyme has a hypnotic rhythm that makes i ...more
Felicita Zapatel
The imagination in this book got wild. It is silly, funny, repetition, and prediction at the same time. This book is very entertained for children to read it again and again and have them laugh every time it is read.
As an activity children would need to count how many animals the lady swallowed, and how many were flying insects, and how many were not insects.
Oct 12, 2008 Gentilemf added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: youngee kids
Recommended to Gentilemf by: my teacher
the little old lady who swallowed a fly is a comical and sad book.the book is about a little old lady who swallows a fly.she continues to swallow larger animals to go in after the animals that she swallowed previosly.eventually she swallows a very large animal and then she dies.this book is ok but why would anybody want to swallow a fly?
It's fun to sing this book. I've done it so many times that I enjoy my own twist on the dramatization. At the end of the book (where the old woman "dies, of course" after swallowing a horse) I suggest a different ending. I have every one "practice" a sneeze into their elbow and all the animals come out again.
Candice Call
Great book to read to show a different form of poetry, also easy to integrate music becuase there is a song in the back of the book. I particularly like the book because many children have schema for the story and therefore would be able to read it independtly. Also has a cumulative story line and busy picture clues.
Katie Brown
This is a classic that most children know. A woman swallows a fly and continues to swallow other animals to get the ones inside her. She grows bigger and bigger and eventually dies. It is a good book to teach rhyming and can be used for sequencing. It is also a good one to talk about fantasy.
This book is funny. It has that kind of feeling that you want to read it again and again. My big sister hates this book a lot of times I just love when me and my mom mention it in front of her she always says "Grr I HATE THIS BOOK!!!"
I'd like to know why she swallowed that poor fly! If she did not swallow it, she wouldn't die and cause death of the spider and other four animals!

Very interesting! I liked it and I recommend it to all! Enjoy the song!
Anna Johnson
Catchy repetitve story lines encourage read along with young children, we often use the flannel board placing pieces onto the board in order and then pointing to them to assist children with recall of the order of events.
This is one of my all time favorite children books. I love the fun rhyme and the little jingle that goes along with it. One thing is for sure...I don't know why she swallowed the fly! Perhaps she'll die.
This is my favorite book as a kid. I was always checking this book out from my elementary school library. The school library actually told my mom I needed to let other kids check the book out, lol.
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Nadine Bernard Westcott is the illustrator of many popular books for children, including Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash and Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash, as well as the author and illustator of The Lady With The Alligator Purse. She used to spend many hours chasing after her dog, who would come home only when ready and not a minute sooner. Ms. Westcott lives on Nantucket with her husband, B ...more
More about Nadine Bernard Westcott...

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