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A Squash and a Squeeze

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,272 ratings  ·  145 reviews
With the help of an old man and all of her animals, an old lady realizes that her house is not as small as she thought it was.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published June 4th 2004 by MacMillan Children's Books (first published 1993)
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Rachel This website only allows you to find out information about books. To read the books you have to buy them from shops or online or see if your public…moreThis website only allows you to find out information about books. To read the books you have to buy them from shops or online or see if your public library has them.(less)

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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,272 ratings  ·  145 reviews


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Sophia Triad
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
You should always be thankful for everything you have got.
It can always get worse than it is already.
(Well...not me... I always dream big LOL)

Children laugh every time we read this book.
Louise
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another soon to be favourite I think.
Nicole
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Julia Donaldson. The book tells a story of a women who does not feel satisfied with her home and feels that it is too small for her. She decides to ask a wise old man for advice on how she can make her house feel bigger. However ironically instead of advising her to remove things from the house he tells her to put all of her animals inside the house with her.

This is an enjoyable book which can help develop literacy skills such as rhyming and reading poetry. The
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Clouds
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Have you ever peed on a cat's head? I have.

One crisp Autumn morning, I ambled through the bathroom door, still three-quarters asleep. Splashing some cold water onto a flannel, I sponged ineffectively at my face, and then tossed the wet rag on top of the toilet cistern. I flipped up the lid and began my leisurely morning pee.

My kitten-cat (what do you call a teenage kitten?), Cassie, came trotting into see me, mewing excitedly.

"Hey girl," I started to say.

She jumped up onto the toilet, not knowi
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Mia
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, baby-gifts
A favorite when my kids were little, this variation on a traditional Jewish folktale is one I often think of when I feel like complaining myself, as well as one that comes to mind often in my work with kids and families. Think your life is hard? Why not try making it a lot harder?! You'll feel so much better once you get back to square one. The rhyming verse makes it a fun read aloud, too. Just bought a new copy for a young couple in a small house expecting baby number two :)
Fatima
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One day a little old lady grumbles and grouses that her house is a squash and a squeeze, A wise old man hears the little old lady grumble and grouse. The wise old man has an idea, which includes: a hen, cow, pig and a goat.
A squash and a squeeze is another humorous story by Julia Donaldson that keeps both children and adult amuse till the end. The story is repetitive and is told in a rhyme format, which gives it its dynamism. The illustrations by Axel Scheffler is of an animated one and it capt
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Shelley
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wise old man heard a little old lady grumbling about her house being too small. After insisting that he helps her, the wise old man told the little old lady to take in her animals. However, the house became too much of a squash and a squeeze. It was not until she took all of the animals out again that she realised just how big her house was for one little old lady.

This is an enjoyable story to read to children. With the story being repetitive, it allows the children to join in with the parts
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Sara Grochowski
In this first book from Donaldson and Scheffler, the duo behind treasured stories like The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, a little old lady bemoans the lack of space in her small house. Instructed by a wise man to invite a hen, a goat, a pig, and a cow inside, she gains a new perspective and learns a valuable lesson. Adapted from a classic folktale and only recently back in print, readers will find humor and wisdom within these pages.
Zoe Hickey
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book with reception children who had English as an additional language. It worked well as the repetition helped them to be able to make predictions to fill in the blanks - “with a squash and a ______”. They enjoyed this involvement in the book. It also has a moral about being thankful for what you have which you could discuss with children.
I enjoyed the illustrations of this book and in the first couple of pages with the title there is a chicken laying an egg which could be seen as
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Becky
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
First sentence: A little old lady lived all by herself with a table and chairs and a jug on the shelf. A wise old man heard her grumble and grouse, "There's not enough room in my house. Wise old man, won't you help me please? My house is a squash and a squeeze."

Premise/plot: Will the 'little old lady' learn a valuable lesson when she takes advice from the 'wise old man'?!

My thoughts: I really like this one. I remember hearing a similar story on Between the Lions back in the day. I enjoyed the rh
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Phoebe Ledster
I conducted reading assessments with some of the children in my Year 2 class and they absolutely loved the book! They found some of the vocabulary quite tricky but really enjoyed the fun nature of this story. It was really interesting to talk with them behind the moral and justifications of the story as well- a very good read.
Ambsg
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks, 2018
We had a desk move at work which meant we were quite cramped but then we moved back and even though we had the same amount of space it felt like a palace 😂 I was recommended this book by my manager and it sums it up perfectly! Oh I love a children’s book!
Elaine Mullane
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books, 2017
Another amazing children's book from the wonderful team that is Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler!

This one tells the story of a little old lady who thinks her house is too small so she calls on the help of a wise old man. His answer? Stuff your house full of barnyard animals, including a hen, a goat, a pig and a cow. When they leave, your house will feel huge!

I love this story. It's funny, it's lyrical and is a pleasure to read aloud. Another favourite of ours.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brit-lit, 0-preschool
It was fun to re-read a book I'd enjoyed as a child in Britain. I was surprised to realize that the author is the same as The Gruffalo, which I have not yet read but have at least heard of. This is a story about perspective -- it's fun and rhymes and my kids both like it too.
Beverly
Another version of the Jewish folktale about the house that is too small until it is filled, and then unfilled, with all the farm animals.
R.A Powell
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this at least three times a day to my little boy (twice for him and once for me!) The words remind me of early Bob Dylan - fantastic!
Aliya Farooq
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I came across this book in a school I visited today and because I loved the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler combination for 'The Gruffalo', I decided to give it a go.

The story is about a lady who moans about her house being 'a squash and a squeeze' and asks a wise man for help. The wise man suggests that the lady takes a range of animals to her house one by one. So, first he tells her to take her chicken into the house, and she basically tells him that it was small for just her and now with
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Oriyah Nitkin
I generally hate the contrived rhymes of children's books when executed badly, which is most of the time. Here, the cadence is very off, which was therefore very irritating.

The vocabulary was varied enough that I find it educationally worthwhile for my kids.

As for the story, I like it very much. What I DISLIKE is that it is a classic Jewish folktake (The "wise old man" is actually a Rabbi) and yet no reference to that fact is made anywhere in the book. It's presented as an original story, which
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Kate Mcevoy
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a very exciting and traditional story about an old woman who lives by herself but feels that her house is too small. Donaldson uses great descriptive words and illustrations throughout to create this story, the lady says that her house was a "squash and a squeeze".
The old lady seeks advice from a wise old man who tells her to move in her hen. The lady thinks this is a disaster as there is barely enough room for herself. She asks the wise old man for more advice and he tells her to move
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Tina Roberts
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ is another lovely story by the creators of ‘The Gruffalo’. It is about an old lady who lives all by herself but finds her house just too small; it’s “‘a squash and a squeeze”. She asks the advice of a wise old man who tells her to move in her hen. This is a disaster, as her house was “poky for one and it’s tiny for two”. Seeking the wise old man’s advice again, she is told to move in her goat, then her pig and finally her cow. When the old lady reaches the point of teari ...more
Neelam Khan
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Squash And A Squeeze is yet another Julia Donaldson book which I really enjoy reading.
It tells the tale of an old woman, unhappy with the size of her home who takes her plea to a wise old man to help her please because her house is a 'squash and a squeeze.' Throughout the story, the wise old man tells the old woman to add one of the farm animals to her house, the old woman, deciding her house feels even more pokey, returns to the wise old man having him tell her to add yet another animal. Thi
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Laura Lee Denby
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The winning team of Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson always write such wonderful books which children will ask for again and again. The illustrations are delightful throughout and the story is written in beautiful rhyme. There is also an accompanying CD available which is a nice addition, particularly for a change in the classroom.
This story tells the tale of a lady who lives in a small house. An old man hears her complain that there is not enough room and suggests she takes in her hen. The o
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Vaughan Davies
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This story is about an old lady who lives on her own and is convinced that her house is too small. She asks a wise old man to help with her problem, and he suggests taking in her farmyard animals one by one, which obviously makes the problem worse. Then the old man tells her to take them all out, meaning she lived on her own again, which makes the house seem much bigger.
I think the book would a fun story-time read for children in Key Stage one. The ‘little old lady’ main character is someone wh
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Kathleen Whelan
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book to a Year 1 class about 5 times in one week because they loved it so much.

It's the story of an old woman who constantly complains that her house is a squash and a squeeze and far too small for her to live in. She approaches an old man who suggests that she move her hen, then her goat, her pig and finally her cow into the house with her. She does as he says and she realises that her house is getting smaller and smaller and has less room. She goes to the old man for advice once m
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Aoife
Oct 14, 2013 added it
This is an excellent book for children from one to five - and beyond. The rhyming story and the colourful artwork appeal to very young children from the start while slightly older children enjoy `reading' along. The story is inventive, with just the right level of repetition and it pulls off the rare feat of being entertaining to the adult reader as well as to their audience. Two delightful characters - a little old lady (essential grey hair in bun!) and a wise old man (long, curious white beard ...more
Bridie Atkinson
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book for children from one to five - and beyond. The rhyming story and the colourful artwork appeal to very young children from the start while slightly older children enjoy `reading' along. The story is inventive, with just the right level of repetition and it pulls off the rare feat of being entertaining to the adult reader as well as to their audience. Two delightful characters - a little old lady (essential grey hair in bun!) and a wise old man (long, curious white beard ...more
Sarah
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The old woman in the story who constantly complains of her house being too small, is taught the value of appreciating what you have, in a rather unconventional manner, by a passing ‘wise old man’. Julia Donaldson uses rhyme to tell the story and the illustrations by Axel Scheffler are very comical.

This book can help children to develop literacy skills such as rhyming and is a good introduction to reading poetry. I used this with my year two class to discuss the words that rhymed and what made i
...more
Zaid
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
My first review is a firm favourite in my household. This book is from the authors that gave us the Gruffalo; Monkey Puzzle and The Smartest Giant in Town, amongst others. It tells us the tale of an old lady who lived by herself, who grumbles that there’s not enough room in her house. She consults the ‘wise old man’ who advises her to bring in her farm animals one by one. Feeling more and more squashed and squeezed as the house fills up, imagine her relief, and new found space, when the wise old ...more
Jacinta Tarr
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully illustrated children's novel and yet another superb example of rhyme to use with children of any age. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler come together to bring this spectacular childrens' story about an old woman who complains that her house is too small and she asks a wise old man for help. Yet following his advice she still complains that the house is too small so the wise old man reverses his advice, showing the old woman that really her house is big enough as it is. A great boo ...more
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Growing up
I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Cho
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