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The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
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The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  15,741 ratings  ·  557 reviews
“A splendiferous Halloween story.” — The Horn Book

“A great purchase for Halloween or any time of year.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard...clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap.

And the little old lady who was n
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 20th 2002 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 1986)
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,741 ratings  ·  557 reviews

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Sep 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
This is a slightly watered down version of a story which I've heard or read before -- an old woman is followed home by one animated garment after another. In the tale I'm familiar with they gradually assemble into a full, presumably ghostly, figure; here they just sort of hang out together and wiggle. In the illustrations they are clearly disparate. Maybe this was intended to make the story less scary. If so it was successful. Possibly a nice Halloween read for less bold children who need a not- ...more
Alfred Haplo
There is something to be said about being in touch with our inner child. We grow up, we experience the world, we toughen up, we become adults. Along the way, we outgrow our fears or we suppress them, but once in awhile, that fear we think is gone rears it ugly head and manifests in ways that scare us still. On those days, wouldn’t it be fun if we dug out our copy of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, and be reminded that Boo! Goes both ways.

In this classic tale, a little old
Lisa Vegan
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fearful kids and brave kids for Halloween or anytime reading
I reread this because I’d never written a review for it, even though I used to read it frequently with and to kids, because it’s one of 6 books for the October (theme: Autumn/Halloween) Picture Books Club at the Children's Books group.

I was expecting that this would be a book I’d downgrade when reading it on my own, without enthusiastic kids hanging on every word and/or participating.

But, it’s a delightful story. I love its cumulative nature, the sound effects, and the clever conclusion. It’s a
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ronyell by: The Picture-Book Club
I have read this book for theChildren's Book Club and it was alright. “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” is a Halloween children’s book by Linda Williams along with illustrations by Megan Lloyd and it is about how a brave old lady goes out of her cottage to get some herbs, spices, nuts and seeds when she started to walk home, she meets a spooky set of clothes that follow her along the way! “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” may have a brave protagonist and cut ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impressive and enthralling at numerous levels, Linda Williams & Megan Lloyd created “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything” in 1986. I am elated to have discovered it! It’s brevity does not diminish one iota of its layered, tickling impact. At first, one is tempted to attest Megan’s tremendously attractive illustrations to this book’s spark but Linda’s storytelling thrills me just as much.

A nature woman like me, gathers herbs on foot at a distance from home. She has a contented
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone for Halloween, especially read-aloud
I would have LOVED this story when I was little!!! All the sounds and the cumulative nature of the tale... it'd make a great read-aloud. (Plus, my favorite story when I was little was Dr. Seuss' tale of "The Pale Green Pants With Nobody Inside Them" and this features a pair of pants with nobody inside them!!!) I also like how the Little Old Lady solves her "problem" of the frightening things following her in a thoughtful, kindhearted and proactive way. A great Halloween read!
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Halloween book (not that it's about Halloween per se). Genuinely creepy, but won't freak out 3-year-olds, and a perfect ending. Sadly, this year T didn't want me to read it to him "because I can read it to myself". Still, it will be a good place holder while we head to RI for the weekend for some suburban trick-or-treating!
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My all-time favorite Halloween picture book! I read it every year for my Halloween storytime. Even older kids will participate with the CLOMP, CLOMP, CLAP, CLAP, etc. After reading the story, I like to go back to the beginning and show the picture of the old lady's yard. The kids love seeing what is in her neighbor's yard and hanging on the clothes line.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: oct-17-challenge
My two daughters LOVE this book! There were plenty of places for me to make noises and voices which engage them and help them to interact with the story which is ideal for a 2.5 and 4 year old who is just starting to read herself. We have read it several times each day and I am sure will continue through the fall. My daughters will be anticipating taking it out again next year.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-the-littlies
This book is a great Halloween read for younger listeners because it is cumulative, super-involved (you get a whole body workout when you read this to your kids- you have to shake, shimmy and clap on every page!) and it sends a message that "scary" things aren't scary when you face them bravely. A must-read for ages 3-8.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Engaging Spooky Picture-Books
A little old lady leaves her cottage for an afternoon's walk in the forest, in this appealing folktale-style story, finding herself far from home as darkness begins to fall. Encountering a series of ghostly articles of clothing, as she makes her way home - two empty shoes, clomp-clomping, a pair of pants with nobody in them - she resolutely refuses to become frightened, although the appearance of a glowing Jack-O-Lantern does have her running from her pursuers. Finally, when confronted with the ...more
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One dark and windy autumn night a brave little old lady was walking back to her house when she heard a clomping noise behind her. What could possibly be making that sound? She discovers an old pair of shoes has been following her, "Clomp, clomp." She turns to them and says, "I'm not afraid of you, " but she walks a little faster. As her journey continues she is confronted by other spooky things: a pair of pants, (wiggle, wiggle), a floating shirt (shake, shake), a top hat (nod, nod), a pair of w ...more
Brianna Mendenhall
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything

Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard . . . clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!

I gave this story 5 stars!

This is a must read every year around Halloween time for me and my family. As a child I loved the vivid illustrations, and I've continued to fi
Crystal Marcos
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it
This was another Children's Picture Book Club read

I liked The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. My daughter just found out what pumpkins are last week so she noticed the giant pumpkin on the cover. I had fun reading it aloud to her. It had simple illustrations and was an easy read so she could relate to the book well. It was fun going through the motions with her as I read CLOMP, CLOMP, WIGGLE, WIGGLE, SHAKE, SHAKE, ETC. She thought that was
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ece-3601, sequencing, math
This is a cute book to read in the fall around Halloween. It is easy to get children interacting because their are multiple characters in the book. Children can practice manipulating words orally while the book is read. I can create a lesson where children count the objects in the picture and label each one. This will help the children with writing out numbers and recognizing pictures from the book. Children could also practice sequencing the order of the objects to make up the scarecrow. Many g ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
A fun read for my 5 yr old as well as my preschoolers, this book had something for everyone. Being a big fan of Halloween myself, I love anything that's even remotely scary or has pumpkins and this had both. Although one of my 3 yr olds covered his face when the scary pumpkin face showed up, he still asked to read it even though we had read it the day before. In fact it was he that requested it, knowing he was scared of it. So, not overly scary but it might be a consideration if you have sensiti ...more
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Brenda by: Children Book Group Halloween/Autumn theme
Shelves: picture-books
A little old lady is walking in the woods and suddenly followed by shoes, shirts, pants and a pumpkin. This is story that would work well for a younger child who likes to act out the parts of a story. There is plenty of clomping, wiggling, shaking, clapping and nodding with one BOO at the end. Nice rhymes for early readers who can easily pick up the repetitive pieces and join in.
Tukunjil Nayeera
Such an adorable tiny story of Halloween!!
Hannah Timm
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
I read The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Scared of Anything to Mrs.Steidman's 1st and 2nd grade class for Halloween Safety. The students acted out the actions in the book with the High Schoolers and it kept them involved in the book. The 1st and 2nd graders enjoyed the book. They said they thought the Lady was brave because she walked through the woods alone. They also said she was nice because she helped the spooky objects become a scarecrow. Overall, the students had a great ti
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: week-3
Text-to- Teaching Connection

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is a story about an old lady walking through the woods during the fall. As she makes her way home she hears sounds and gradually encounters items of clothing that startle her. With each encounter, the little old lady increases her pace until she safely arrives home. I would use this book to teach my students about sequencing the events of a story. As a whole group activity we would review and discuss the story by arra
Malobee Silvertongue
Charming illustrations, I like the style though I do think they are a wee bit forgettable. Story is constructed well to be fun for 1-3 year olds. It is billed for 4-8, but I very much think this book is too simple for that age group. I think that the repetition of the sounds would be particularly fun and stimulating for younger audiences (at least from my experience) I wanted to read a children's picture book for this Halloween because I do not normally read books in this category. Halloween see ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book! This will be our third fall reading it a billion times. Incorporates sound with the story. Kids will love to clap, stomp and shake as you read. It is scary in a silly way!
Great for Halloween and read-alouds
I appreciate this book, as I think it was the first book a librarian ever read aloud to me, complete with goofy facial expressions and scary sound effects on Halloween. She has since passed on. Fond memories.
Cris Ingram
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This lady lives on the edge of the forest and goes for a walk in the forest. On her walk she is followed by 2 shoes that go Clomp, Clomp!, pants that go Wiggle, Wiggle! a shirt that went Shake, Shake! 2 gloves that go Clap, Clap! and one hat that goes Nod, Nod! and one scary pumpkin head that goes Boo, Boo! and she is not afraid of anything! They come to her door and ...

Fun story to read with kids, they can act out the actions and get silly!
Breon Randon
This is the best not-so-spooky Halloween book for the littles! Such a fun story to read. and reread. Over and over lol. Nothing is as fun to a toddler as repetitive actions and clapping noises.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nana
My almost 3 yr old grandson loves this story! He remembers all the sounds the garments etc. make so I leave that reading up to him.
Oct 28, 2018 is currently reading it
Shelves: week-2
Text to the world connection : Related to the theme of the month Halloween fall. Cute little story beautiful colors well illustrated. Great for math concepts. Repeating vocabulary and language. This can be also added too dramatic play as props and allow the students to repeat the story.
Amanda O'Connor
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first book that my daughter ever laughed at! She loved the Boo Boo part! Hehe
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
"Not scary enough"? "Not creative enough"? "Not the best version of this kind of story"? Maybe so, fellow Goodreads reviewers. But for teachers or librarians looking for a semi-spooky story for a crowd of varying ages and creep tolerance levels, this is about the best pick I've found. I did have one first-grader who I know is easily spooked that had to sit close to her mom for the story, but all the kids enjoyed the book and liked stomping, wiggling, shaking, clapping, nodding, and BOO-ing along ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: that same blogger
Now this is a seasonal hit. My kids loved it, I loved it, and I'll be buying a copy for my classroom. It wasn't scary - only slightly creepy. It had repeating lines, which kids love no matter their age. It has a strong rhythm, which almost always pushes a book into the Can't Miss category.

Classroom Connections
- fun read aloud for Halloween time
- great intro for discussions about fear and courage
- surprise ending lesson for writer's workshop
- onomatopoeia
- perfect for creating rhythm and mo
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Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Also published as Linda D. Williams.

Linda Williams is a writer in the fields of science and medicine. She has worked as a technical writer and chief scientist at NASA and McDonnell Douglas, and currently works at Rice University. She has served as a science speaker for a number of years. Ms. Williams is the autho