What else can an old lady swallow?
It appears the possibilities are limitless when it comes to variations on this nonsense song. As well as a fly, old ladies seem to want to try swallowing bells, chicks, books, cows, roses, shells, bagels, bats, frogs, leaves and many more items impossible to digest, followed by even bigger and more ridiculous objects. The bouncy rhymes and usually hilarious illustrations that accompany the lyrics make these books continual favourites with the small set.
Torontonian Chrissy Bozik, author of 101 Math Jokes and four other picture books, has written a Canadian version of this delightful nonsense song, challenging the old woman to consume everything in the boreal forest as well as camping and sports gear. When the old lady is stuffed as full as she can be, a mosquito irritates her nose and causes her to sneeze everything out. She’s suddenly surrounded by a perfectly kitted-out campsite, ready for the perfect Canadian vacation. Bozik’s rhymes are rollicking, and the words fit well and rhyme appropriately.
Bozik’s truly Canadian version is illustrated by Vancouver’s Scot Ritchie who uses pencil, ink and computer-coloured drawings. Ritchie, who has illustrated more than 50 books for children, including There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Puck, draws a determined old lady opening her jaws to fit a moose, antlers and all, in her mouth, gorging herself on sticks, stoically sneaking up on a beaver, and more. She’s a big eater!
“...a useful addition to classroom collections and can be used to teach rhyming, cumulative poetry. Children will enjoy reading the book independently. It can also be used to teach newcomers, who mostly gravitate to cities, about what many Canadians find enjoyable in a vacation. But let them know they don’t have to swallow a moose although they may, by accident, down a mosquito or two.”
―Canadian Review of Materials
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