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The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read
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The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  40 reviews
An old toymaker never wanted to learn to read until his wife went away on a visit and he had to do the grocery shopping by himself.
30 pages
Published 1968
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Average rating 4.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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babyhippoface
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
When my younger daughter was four years old, she told me she thought she'd probably be "one of those grown-ups who can't read". I explained that that wasn't a good idea, but she was a determined little thing. She eventually changed her mind, thank goodness, and began devouring books daily. But it was a little iffy for a while. ;) She would identify with the little man in this book.

This little old man doesn't know how to read. He doesn't want to know. He doesn't think he needs it. After all, he
...more
Robin
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it
nice to address the topic-- but this makes it look like illiteracy was simply a choice and you can reverse it in a day's lesson
Estee
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My sister pulled out a box of books from when we were little and this was in it! My mom gave it to me in 1978! I love this book and remember it fondly. I love the softly colored illustrations.

Moral of the story: If you can’t read you have to eat onion soup and waxed paper!
Missy
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Knowing how to read is very important.
Karen
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mom, ellie
Cute and fun free book from the library...krb 6/23/19
BookLionQueen
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-and-read, 2017
BookTubeAThon Day 6 with one of my favorite children's books. I read it outside because it's hot in the south and it had to be short.
Merissa Jordan
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such an adorable and truthful book. I can not wait to have children so I can add this to their book collection.
Earl
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Funny but in a dated way.
Pamela Hatch
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read / written by Irma Simonton Black; pictures by Seymour Flesihman -- Chicago : Albert Whitman & Company, c1968, 1977. (32 pages) RANGE 3 -- PICTURE BOOK

SUMMARY: A little old man who could not read is left at home overnight to fend for himself. Because he can't read he is unable to cook, or shop, or read his mail by himself. His bad experiences shows him that he needs help to make it in the world on his own.

REVIEW: This is one of the stories that I read (or
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April
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids
Shelves: my-library
One of my favorites from childhood.

Its about a little old man who makes toys and cannot read. Children that play with his toys write him letters, but he cannot read them.

Usually his wife buys the groceries, but she goes on a trip. While she's gone he has to get groceries. She asks him to get a can of soup, a big can of spaghetti sauce, spaghetti, sugar, milk and oatmeal. Since he can't read, he buys groceries by looking at the containers and the pictures.

He ends up with onion soup (he doesn't
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Andrea
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alex-books
I love, love, love this book!

I hope that it will inspire kids to want to read. In the story, the protagonist had no interest in reading until he was left along to his own devices to disastrous results.

The little old man in the story was essentially dependent on his wife regarding the groceries (and most likely many other aspects of life as well). When she had to leave for a few days, he went shopping and failed to buy any meals with sustenance. He ended up as the little old man who was super
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Rachael
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-specific
This was my favorite book as a child. This book is about a little old man who does not know how to read. His wife goes out of town, so he is left with going to the grocery store by himself. He chooses items he believes are correct, but turn out to be the opposite of what he needed. I would use this book in my classroom to explain the importance of being able to read and show how it affects your life even when you are older.
Meredith C
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites from childhood. This book is rare/out of print and I own two copies. One is thrashed and put back together with library tape (that's the one I let the children read) and one I scored on Ebay in a box of old books for 5.00! A copy of this book is worth around 75-100 dollars now. Just FYI. Adds nothing to my love for it. Mine aren't for sale. I just wanted you readers to know that.
Julie
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book from childhood.

The little old man's wife goes out of town and he is left to fend for himself at the grocery store. Since he cannot read, he chooses items he believes are correct, but none of them contain the items that he intended to buy.

This is exactly how I felt going to a supermarket for the first time in Japan. I was unable to identify even the most basic items.
Tamara
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
One of my favorites when I was young and now reading to my son. It's just so funny when you're a kid to think that you're getting a certain thing and then find out it's something totally different! And who can't love it when the little old man says "Fiddle sticks and fish fur!"
Becky
I LOVED this book as a kid and went to find it on Amazon.com and they're selling it for around 250.00 and up! Oh, how I wish we still had some of those great books from when I was a kid. I've found a few of the ones I liked but they were used.
Heather Mize
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books. My oldest sister and mom read this to me a lot. My heart would break for the old man who could not read and was struggling to make the soup his wife left him a recipe for.
Ally Lybbert
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eled-340
I was hoping this would be a fun way to motivate students to read but it was actually really sad. The man's wife left him and he went hungry for a whole day because he wasn't sure what he was buying at the store. I probably wouldn't use this one in my classroom
Holley
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my childhood favorites. Love the black and white illustrations. Kian selected it for story time tonight and he enjoyed it too, although there were no jedis, superheroes or lego minifigs on any of the pages.
Lisa
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book as a kid. My mom bought me a copy of it a few years ago, but I am so afraid of it getting ruined that I won't take it out of the plastic. (In my defense, it is an older paperback copy). My grandpa used to read it to us when we were at my aunts house. Such a cute story.
Mary
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
I found this old book at a garage sale. My kids just love it. The little old man makes a few "big" mistakes, because he doesn't know how to read. I read it to my daughters kindergarten class and they really enjoyed it as well. It emphasizes the importance of learning how to read.
Amy Dautreuil
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My absolute FAVORITE childhood book!!!

I made my grandmother read it over & over. I looked for this book when I had my boys & couldn't find it. No longer in production & my grandmother's copy was destroyed by her hot water tank.
Robyn Davis
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love this book! This book just illustrates how important literacy really is. The little old man in this book could not read, and therefore could not buy things at the grocery store.
Veronica
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very clever, funny and motivational; such a cute idea. Loved it!
Rebecca Henderson
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of the most influential books I read as a child. I am the reader I am today partly due to this book.
Sara Grace
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
My elementary school teacher shamed me for not being able to read by giving me this book. I could read fine - I just didn't want to read out loud.
Autumn
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This would have to be one of my favorite children’s books of all time. When I became a teacher and librarian this became of my favorite books on the importance of reading.
Sue Meredith
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I so wish this book was still in print. Of all the books I had as a kid (I'm almost 40), this one sticks with me the most. I still think about it every time I need to buy buttermilk for a recipe. ;)
Little Miss and the Legomeister
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
My kids loved reading this, knowing that it was their dad's favorite book when he was young. It's a cute story, and they thought it was pretty funny.
Penny
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
One of my all-time favorites from childhood. :)
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