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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by…

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (original 1997; edition 1999)

by Simms Taback

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Title:There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Authors:Simms Taback
Info:Scholastic (1999), Paperback, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:old lady, animals, eating

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There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback (1997)


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1.) "There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly" is a kids poem that talks about swallowing a fly and in turn swallows a spider so that the spider eats the fly. After that she swallows a bird so that the bird swallows the spider, the poem goes on and on with the old lady swallowing one thing after another to eat whatever it is she ate before, finishing the line with perhaps she'll die, when she doesn't she swallows something else. Ending with her finally swallowing a horse and then she dies.

2.) This was one of my favorite poems when I was a kid because I thought that it was funny and that it made me imagine what this old lady looked like swallowing all of these bugs and animals. It was one of the first longer poems I tried to memorize as a kid so that I could tell other kids or recite to my baby brother at the time to get him to laugh about. I think it still a funny and classic poem to share with kids, that is light hearted and imaginative.

3.) For a class project, I would for sure use this with grade school kids and have them make their own illustrations of the old lady and everything that she swallows. I think that it would be cool to do to make it a pop up type of book, so that it looks 3D and at the same time so that we could also learn why she chose the next thing to swallow. They would learn that she because she swallowed the fly and swallowed the spider because they eat spiders, and go on and on until the end of the story.
  ashpoe | Nov 11, 2014 |
This favorite American folk poem has been a popular children's story in the U.S. for several years. It has been told in several different versions, and a popular song was written based on the written portion of the book. This particular book uses brilliant illustrations to show the various animals that the old lady happens to swallow. The book contains several predictable elements that engage young readers. It is probably suited best for ages kindergarten through second grade because of the level of vocabulary, use of illustrations, and predictability.
  LoganBerglund | Oct 20, 2014 |
summary:The story begins as the old lady accidentally swallowed a fly. I would believe that she was in shock, and the situation that she was in she began to swallow many different animals to get rid of what she had originally swallowed. this story is fun and silly, and easy for the kids to read and observe. This book is also a Caldecott award winner.
Personal:I was interested in reading this story because i enjoyed learning how to read this story as a child. i recently read this story to my mothers classroom, and i got all the students interested in the story, they all had wanted to see if the old lady had died.

Classroom extensions: Create an old lady out of fabric that has a small cut out of the belly with a see through mesh. Also collect plush stuff animals that represented in the story. have the kids read out the story from which ever stuff animal they have and then they would place it in her belly.
  pambam_11 | Sep 17, 2014 |
I remember reading this book and just laughed as I continue on reading. As a child, I was wondering, "Why would a woman swallow all of these animals?" I come to find out it's on old southern folk tale that was spread around the Southern part of the United States. This book is great for the kids to get a good silly story to hear and have fun as the story goes on. It'll get the kids talking and possible have an assignment after the book read about what each student would swallow that is so strange and silly, it gets whole of laughter. Great book, great classic, and jus a great all around silly story to share among the children. This is a Caldecott Honor book.
  Patrick-Shea14 | Sep 15, 2014 |
Great book!
  BrianEJanssen | Apr 30, 2014 |
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Book description
There was a cold lady who swallowed many different things, one after the other, but what happens after she swallows snow? Modeled on the folk song: There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670869392, Hardcover)

An old favorite as you've never seen it before!

Everyone knows the song about the old lady who swallowed a fly, a spider, a bird, and even worse, but who's ever seen what's going on inside the old lady's stomach? With this inventive die-cut artwork, Simms Tabak gives us a rollicking, eye-popping version of the well-loved poem.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Presents the traditional version of a famous American folk poem first heard in the U.S. in the 1940's with illustrations on die-cut pages that reveal all that the old lady swallows.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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