There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

by Simms Taback

Die-cut pages fit snugly around the most recent creature to be consumed by the legendary... read more

Die-cut pages fit snugly around the most recent creature to be consumed by the legendary hungry heroine. They provide the impression of swallowing and a means for showing the repast inside her stomach. Perhaps the most humorous aspect is the woman's growing girth as she gulps yet another victim. Taback's inventive, purposeful design includes side action: headlines from the print media and rhymed commentary from animals yet to enter the action, so to speak. For example, after the woman swallows a bird (how absurd!), one can read or sing the cumulative verse to that point, ending with "Perhaps she'll die." On the lower right hand corner of the same page one sees a cow declaring, "She'll leave us high," and a dog completing the thought, "and dry." Taback's artwork was created using mixed media and collage on paper. The folk poem has never been as hilariously presented as a children's book. "Moral: never eat a horse." (Ages 3-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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