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There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  809 ratings  ·  170 reviews
We all know that “there was an old lady” who swallowed lots of things. Now meet the old dragon who swallows pretty much an entire kingdom! Will he ever learn a little moderation?! This rollicking rhyme is full to bursting with sight gags, silly characters, and plenty of burps! Parents and kids alike will delight in Ben Mantle’s precisely funny illustrations and in Penny Pa ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Penny Klostermann Oh my! I can't spoil the ending! The knight does get eaten but I can't say whether or not he gets out!
Thanks so much for your question :D…more
Oh my! I can't spoil the ending! The knight does get eaten but I can't say whether or not he gets out!
Thanks so much for your question :D(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Carrie Charley Brown
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rhyming, cumulative
Oh, that dragon! He has quite a BIG appetite in this fractured retelling of the familiar classic, I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY. With a dash of pepper and a HUGE dose of humor in both illustration and text, this version will leave kids begging for the retell. Children will likely read/retell this one on their own, as well. Rhyme and repetition provide for a great independent hold on reading. Don't be surprised to find yourself wanting to know if the steed is ever silenced and exactly wh ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, folk-tale
The children put out a call for a story about dragons and knights. What better to seek out than this lovely story, There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight? And if you are 5,000 miles from home and it is late in the evening? How wonderful to be able to download the book from your library back home and have the children discover a fabulous new book!

The children, 6 and 3, loved the clever wordplay as well as the charming illustrations. It was "Again, again!" that I heard the next day and the
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Synopsis- In a land, far far away, dragons do exist. And one kingdom has a horrible old dragon living in it. A HUNGRY horrible old dragon. And as a knight and his faithful steed go to face the dragon, they find out he’s not so polite either.

What I Thought- This is a great parody of the traditional “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”. Ms. Klostermann has written a funny, well-rhymed story that makes sense. Kids learn a little about medieval life and they will enjoy a good story while lear
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, runot
I don't know, I just didn't quite get all the parts... "He swallowed the castle to hold the lady (?), he swallowed the lady to rule the cook (?), he swallowed the cook to fatten the squire (?)" etc. Also, in one picture the dragon looks exactly like he's going to poop - or at least fart - even though he's "just" going to burp. ;) ...And the knight was the only one who didn't get out in the end... :'/
Rebecca Colby
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My kids and I love this book! It's far more fun than the original rhyme it's based on, and the verse gallops along in perfect rhythm. The vivid and humorous illustrations are well-matched to the rollicking text and help add to the laughs. It's definitely a book that will keep the whole family amused!
Robin Newman
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Definitely!
Warning: If you read this book be ready to giggle. A LOT! It's a super-fun twist on the tale of the old lady who swallowed the fly that's sure to be a winner with kids and adults. And who doesn't love reading about a super-rude dragon who's lost his manners?
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to this book, my kids have added the word 'polite' to their vocabulary and use it constantly. They first thought that word sounded funny. After telling them what it meant, the continue to laugh using the word but they use it correctly in a sentence.

They rhymes flowed a little easier for me after the second read through the book. I enjoyed the pictures and thought the outcome was creative. I did not mind reading this book to the kids over ten times in the few weeks we had checked it out fr
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a fun take on the old story about the old woman who swallowed a fly. There are bright, colourful illustrations which are very eye catching and there is rhyme which provides a rhythm for reading aloud. There is also a lot of repetition which younger children would enjoy joining in with. It's not too long and I think it would be a great read aloud class story for FS and KS1 children.
Slightly clumsy rhymes in places, however I like the sections that recall the list of everything that the dragon has swallowed - could lends itself nicely to recall exercises for children
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medieval
Such a fun add-on rhyming story about a dragon that eats an entire kingdom with everyone in it, very medieval.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hmmmm... plump... googly-eyed... this fellow seems harmless enough. I'm quite fond of the polka-dotted neckerchief he's sporting. Shall we give him a chance? It's not like he can swallow an entire kingdom, right?

Think again!

This gorbellied, hook-nosed scoundrel is NOT to be trusted. Oh, he may look puppy-faced, but just like that old, witless woman who swallowed a fly, this cold-blooded hornbeast hath no clue about good manners. He gorges himself silly – bloatage maximus – until... well... you'l
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway and it arrived today so I read it to my daughter immediately as she didn't want to wait until bedtime! The first thing that caught my attention was the attention to detail in the illustrations- it is a very nice book to look at; bright colors and strong print. We loved the little rhymes- some of the words were a bit advanced for a 3 year old (perchance? in kids book?) but I understand it had to rhyme. Overall my daughter loved it and understood it. ...more
Juliana Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In the same vein as "There was an old lady who swallowed..." this funny picture book written in rhyming text features a very hungry dragon. The dragon snatches up a knight, followed by his horse, and then just keeps on swallowing things. Who knows what might have happened had he not become too bloated by swallowing a moat? One good burp rids him of all that he's consumed, except the knight, which sets up the final lines in the book perfectly. This is great fun to read alone or to share with some ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Klostermann shines in her debut, a brilliant twist on the classic There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - but this time with more Knights! Squires! And Dragons! Kids will gobble up this spunky tale of an impolite dragon who eats and eats. Coupled with Mantle's vibrant illustrations and dashes of humor (the napkin around dragon's neck, his picking his teeth with the knight's sword), this will be a sure-fire hit at story time. And there's nothing shady or impolite about that.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-lit
I absolutely loathe There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. (Because ew, flies?) To this day, I cannot bear listening to Judy Collins because she conjures up memories of her musical rendition of this oft-hailed childhood classic. That being said, some of the spin-off swallow books are humorous and clever. This dragon/knight one is decent but not a personal favorite. Would make for a good read-aloud and will likely be enjoyed by far less picky children than I.
Ariel Cummins
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cumulative rhymes are not my absolute favorite picture-book genre, but I thought this particular book was quite adorable.

The bright, colorful illustrations match the cheeky text perfectly, and the rhyme is fractured just the right amount. It's still recognizable as the traditional old-lady-who-swallowed-some-stuff frame, but it's got enough humor to make it seem fresh.

This would be a great addition to a fairy tale, dragon, or royal storytime for preschoolers!
Wendy Kuzma
The format of this book is modeled after There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. Rhythmical and repetitive text with humor as well would make this a great lit lunch read aloud for early to mid elementary-aged students.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fun take on the old "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" song. This should appeal to those who love all things princessy or all things relating to dragons and knights. I'd better brush up on my singing for storytime!
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Spoiler Alert:

Be prepared for a LOT of burping noises after sharing this book as a read-aloud.

make your own story puppets from Random House at

Fun update on the classic song - exceptional fun and colorful illustrations.
Laurie Arnez
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this rendition! Great vocabulary and illustrations. This would make an excellent read aloud.
Loved this new spin on a classic. The medieval theme is so much fun.
Melissa Flanagin
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
very cute version of There Was an Old Lady.... I thought it was so cute. I had caught myself speaking in an adorable British accent to the kids.
Mary Lee
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So. Much. Fun. I'm adding this to my "Old Lady Who Swallowed a..." collection. Can't wait to share with kids!
Maggie Mattmiller
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fun twist on an old favorite. Kids will really enjoy this- I can hear the giggles now! "It's not polite!" :)
Sandy Brehl
Fun verse with suitably comic illustrations. A lively and distinct twist on the "swallowed the fly" rhyme.
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
Typical there was an old lady format but with a dragon-- fun for a fantasy themed storytime// dragon
Danica Midlil
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Unexpected ending! Very fun.
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I'm SO TIRED of adaptations of the old lady and the fly. I will confess the rhyming in this is decent, but ENOUGH ALREADY.
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PENNY PARKER KLOSTERMANN is the author of There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight and A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale, both from Random House Children’s Books. She feels lucky to live in Abilene, Texas, The Storybook Capital of America, where inspiration is everywhere.

Penny writes picture books for children. Her desire to write grew out of her love for reading and her love for reading continually i

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