Mrs.Charles's Reviews > There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2011

Taback, Simms. 1997. THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY. New York, NY: Penguin Group. ISBN 0670869392.

This is a classic poem that includes mesmerizing, goofy rhymes and repetition. The story follows along as an old woman swallows a fly, spider, bird, cat, dog, cow, horse. We have all heard versions of the poem but who has been allowed to see what we have imagined her to look like with the myriad of animals in her belly. Simms uses die-cut hole to make the poem come to life and bulge our eyes.

The rhyme reminds me of the poem House that Jack Built. As a child, my mom and I would try to read the poem in one breath. The humorous side bar comments are also fun to read and a play on words. "Perhaps she'll die" "I hope it's a lie"
The artwork was done using mixed media and collage on kraft paper. Simple artwork and drawings, that appear to have been drawn by a child stay on level with the fun nature of the poem. Children will enjoy reading along and interacting with the story. They will also enjoy seeing the illustrations and enjoy it til the very end.

Caldecott Honor Book
Interesting fact: Taback was the first to design the Happy Mean Box in 1977

*Other cumulative tales by Taback that incorporate repetition and student involvement. Great story to read to go over foreshadowing because you know she will digest something bigger each time you turn the page. The fun thing would be to guess exactly what she will next the ingesting.
*Other foreshadowing stories.
Van Allsburg, Chris. THE STRANGER.
*Other stories by Taback.

Taback, Simms. JOSEPH HAD A LITTLE OVERCOAT. ISBN 0670878553

Taback, Simms. THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT. ISBN 0399234888.

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