BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Rashin

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a FlyThe text is not new: you probably recognized the kiddie tune from the title. The origin information appears on the copyright page, so you’ll know immediately that “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly is a beloved children’s folk song written in the 1940’s. The melody was written by Alan Mills and the lyrics were written by Rose Bonne.”

What’s new here is, of course, the fabulously hilarious colorful facelift. Sure, the eponymous old lady is still really old (although her skin care regimen is definitely working for her!), but the real star of this show is her rainbow-scarved black kitty with his outsize personality that jumps off every page … uhh … even after he meets his demise!

So while she’s enjoying her tea and cherry cream cake, the old lady swallows that fly mid-bite. She gets the crazy idea that adding a spider to her belly is the best solution. Her smart kitty warns, “Stop!” and tries to chase her down before her next swallow. They topple their tea party, but the old lady won’t be put off, and down goes the not-so-itsy-bitsy spider, ready with fork and knife to enjoy his toothsome flying feast! Cake, fly, spider – three should be company enough – but that bird tweeting in the window is too much a temptation. “Don’t eat it!” kitty screams in horror, desperately trying to get the old lady’s attention! But her hearing must be going … because she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Kitty suggests antacid instead of adding another wriggler, but the old lady is too busy yelling “Catch it!” to the growing menagerie in her expanding tummy. With barely a pause between gulps, the old lady definitely has some stored-up superhuman energy – she’s determined to chase down that dog, cow, horse! But no worries – a happy (enough) ending awaits all. Most especially, we readers, who will surely be “Yay!”-ing, “Hee!”-ing, “Neigh!”-ing right along.

Iranian-born, recently-Virginia-domiciled, internationally award-winning creator Rashin, who added death-defying drama to her Rumi-inspired story of love and freedom featuring a wealthy merchant and Two Parrots, again takes something familiar and injects new life … not to mention that winged instigator is not the only one who gets to fly free at book’s end!

Readers: Children

Published: 2014


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