Parents' Guide to

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Clever, but more an art project than a kid-friendly book.

Book Jeremy Holmes Humor 2009
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Poster Image

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Kids say (2):

The presentation is what this book is about, and it's one that is clever and original though not really all that kid-friendly. The familiar song is told in print that is a little hard to read, the illustrations are intricate but a little abstract, and the physical book is stiff and too complicated for young kids. However, older readers and adults might appreciate its artistry and enjoy sharing the silliness with their younger readers. Not really a Halloween story, but it certainly could add to the holiday fun!

The format and the illustrations of this book are clever, though perhaps not that kind of clever that will capture the interest of young kids. Actually, with all its scrapbook kind of detail and unusual format, this book looks more like an art project than a book. A long and slender board book of sorts, it is done in rather drab browns and grays, and sports a somewhat scary-looking face. The book itself is stiffly set in the area of the old woman's stomach and, as you turn each page, you see a rather fanciful illustration of what she has just swallowed. In the end, as you turn the final page and she dies, a tab pulls her eyes closed.

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