Review Blog

Nov 07 2014

There was an old bloke who swallowed a present by P. Crumble

cover image

Ill. by Louis Shea. Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781743625255
(Ages: 4-6) Christmas. In the now familiar format of I know an old lady who swallowed a fly, P. Crumble's latest Yuletide tale takes the old bloke on another adventure, consuming some not so pleasant Christmas treats. The story begins when Santa visits to drop off a present that bounces off the old bloke's rather large belly and into his wide open mouth, mid-snore. In quick succession, he devours, a card, a gingerbread man and a not so perky turkey. The final treat is a large wooden sleigh and two reindeer, of course, this sets off the usual eruption and creates an unusual Christmas display. Children love to listen to these fun stories, quickly picking up on the rhyme and repetition.
Louis Shea's bold, brightly coloured illustrations once again add to the excitement and enjoyment of this picture book. The lenticular cover shows what happens when the old bloke attempts to climb a stack of presents. The scene of the swirling stomach juices is humorous with the choir still singing and the angry gingerbread man flinging snow at the turkey.
Rhyllis Bignell

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