Review Blog

Oct 24 2012

There was an old lady who swallowed a star by P. Crumble

cover image

Ill. by Louis Shea. Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 1 74285 330 9.
(Ages: 4+) Recommended. Picture book. Christmas. Using the familiar refrain of, 'I know an old lady who swallowed a fly', this lively and brightly illustrated tale has the old, grizzled lady swallowing all the accoutrements of Christmas. She gobbles down a star, a stocking, an elf, the Christmas lights on top of the house, the reindeer and finally Santa Claus. Each thing she eats is sent down to retrieve the other, until finally she bursts and all the things tumble out. Children will delight in picking up the rhyme of the tale, joining in when they can predict the next words, and learning it so they can say it all the way through. It is infectious and partly familiar and so will be enticing for them to do. Each time she swallows a new thing the line, 'Now that's bizarre' follows, giving another point of repetition for the children to predict and learn. The plethora of Christmas imagery in the background adds to the fun of using this in the classroom to introduce the festivity, and at home where lots of fun can be had in the family.
The bright illustrations will entice younger readers and this is one in a series of 'I know an old lady', published by Scholastic.
Fran Knight

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