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I Know An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly

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I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly is a classic children's folk song. The original author is unknown, but it has been sung and retold many times and many ways. This picture book beautifully illustrates the original version. Nikki Smith combines watercolor, collage, and graphic design to illustrate the animal chase. Children will love to read and sing along with this book, but will we ever find out "why she swallowed the fly?" FULL INTERIOR PREVIEWS AVAILABLE AT www.NikkiSmithBooks.com

26 pages, Paperback

First published June 7, 2006

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About the author

Nikki Smith

5 books25 followers
Nikki is an artist and a first grade teacher. She enjoys using a variety of artistic media. Currently, her illustrating technique combines the use of watercolor, collage, and graphic design. Her children's books bring together her experiences with children and art. Nikki spends most of her free time as a "lake girl," or enjoying the ocean. She slalom water skis on a lake in Michigan where her family lives and she has been scuba diving in Bonaire, Puerto Rico and Roatan. Nikki has cared for many wild creatures including: robins, frogs, fish, turtles, butterflies and ducks. Her work is inspired by her love of water, animals and family.

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5 stars
1,311 (47%)
4 stars
661 (23%)
3 stars
602 (21%)
2 stars
130 (4%)
1 star
60 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
45 reviews5 followers
December 17, 2012
This is a story of an old lady who swallows a fly. In order to get the fly out, she swallows different animals to eat the last one that she swallowed. There is a very simple rhyming pattern that the text follows. Students can easily pick up on this pattern as they read! This book can be used to discuss how to make predictions in our reading. You can also talk about what is possible and impossible (a woman would not really be able to swallow a horse for example).
Profile Image for Robyn Watt.
46 reviews
June 27, 2013
fun and creative book, wonderful and interesting illustrations for each animal swallowed, showing how big the old woman got with each animal. this book has wonderful rhyming words and can help with animal identification, and guessing what animal would be swallowed next. Have the children create a book where they themselves swallowed different things and see what they come up with
September 27, 2021
This story is about an older lady who swallowed not only a fly, but other things as well. This story includes rhymes, sounding patterns, and repetition which is great for students to learn and be able to read about. This is an easy story to read, and it allows students to point out the different rhyme patterns and it has a great message behind it!
62 reviews2 followers
December 16, 2012
PB #47: I love that this classic fold song is now in print! The original author is unknown and it has been retold many ways but it is still a classic! The rhyming is so much fun for kids to sing along. This is a great read for beginning readers and a great way to get your classroom to participate in a book with you!
69 reviews1 follower
December 2, 2013
This children's favorite depicts an old lady who accidentally swallows a fly. She continues to swallow animal after animal to eat the previous thing. This story would be a good text to use for rhyming or repetition. Students can take aspects of this story to use in their own writing or create their own version of the story.
1 review
April 12, 2010
Just got it today, was so happy I immediately sat down and read it to my children. they loved it. It was a fun book to read. They were kind of bummed out over the old woman dieing, but other then that we all loved it.
Profile Image for Nancy.
Author 2 books7 followers
March 19, 2009
The best version I've seen for this popular song. The illustratons are Eric Carle style and hilarious. Kids will love it and want to read it over and over.
Profile Image for Murlene.
102 reviews
April 18, 2011
One of my favorites as a child. I am sure the students will love the rhyming and wondering what she will eat next
13 reviews
August 1, 2011
I used to read this book in second and third grade and laugh so hard! I also remember singing the little rhyme on road trips with my grandfather. Amazing book(:
Profile Image for Ashley.
120 reviews
November 10, 2011
love this book it is so fun and entertaining i could just read in over and over again it is a must read childrens book
Profile Image for Bree.
1,716 reviews7 followers
June 7, 2012
I was grossed out by the thought of this story as a child and refuse to read it to my own. Saying "I think she'll die" over and over again is enough to make me scream.
20 reviews
July 16, 2012
I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly by Nikki Smith is funny, one of my favorite books when I was a little kid.
54 reviews
November 29, 2017
Grade level: Preschool- Second grade
Awards: None
Summary: I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly by Nikki Smith, is folksong that talks about an old woman who swallows many creatures including a fly, bird, spider, etc. As the song continues the things that she has eaten are repeated. The illustrations depict what is happening inside of her stomach after she eats each creature.
Review: This folksong is catchy, lively, and all children find this song silly and enjoyable. The storylines of this song is unrealistic with the many creatures that the old woman swallows. However, this folksong is great to help children find patterns and rhythms in what they read. This is definitely a song that I would recommend that children learn and have fun with. I certainly did when was younger and learned this song.
Classroom uses: This song can be used in the classroom to ask students if it is possible to swallow everything that the old woman swallowed in the story/song. This song would also be fun to have each student come up with an alternate ending. Lastly, the students could act out the song using props which would be a big hit with all students.
Profile Image for Parker Thornton.
50 reviews
April 12, 2019
I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly is by Nikki Smith, the story talks about a old lady who swallows a fly. To get the fly out, she swallows different animals to eat the last one that she swallowed. It is really important to realize that there is a rhyming pattern throughout the story.

This book is a great way to have children learn about keeping items out of their mouths,and it is a good read. There are lots of learning moments throughout the book. I have always liked books that shows children why not to do certain things. This is why I rated this book the way I did. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read it.
Profile Image for Kelly Santana-Banks.
Author 7 books28 followers
December 2, 2021
The ridiculousness behind I Know An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly is what makes it such a classic children’s book. The simple rhyming scheme, the unintentionally grim ending, and the chaos behind the simplistic ‘plot’ is the perfect formula for an entertaining picture book. There isn’t much other substance to the book but there does not always have to be such heaviness within a children's entertainment medium.
Profile Image for Kylie.
20 reviews
August 19, 2017
I would give this book half a star. It was super annoying!!! Who swallows a fly and thinks it's a good idea to swallow other creatures and things to get rid of it????!!!!! If you read this book you are wasting your time. It literally says the same thing over and over again with one phrase added.
86 reviews
June 10, 2021
My kid love this series of books. Good for rhymes & sequencing!
68 reviews
June 19, 2021
The original! Many other similar named titles follow about other things this old lady can swallow.
Children adore these stories!!
39 reviews
February 27, 2017
1. This book has received no awards.

2. Appropriate grade levels: Pre-k, and K-2

3. This is a nursery rhyme book that tells the story about an old lady who swallows a fly. She doesn't only swallow a fly though; she swallows so many different things. The old lady continues to swallow a whole bunch of silly things just to get this fly.

4. This is a great nursery rhyme book. It was my favorite as a child and continues to make me laugh as an adult. My nephews love to read this book over and over again.

5. Rhyming words, Begin the day, and poems and songs.
95 reviews
April 25, 2018
I remember that everyone loved this book when I was in elementary school. It was often used as a sing aloud. I think that this would still be a great book to incorporate into the classroom, because it is easy for students to remember and sing a long to.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

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