Saturday, December 5, 2020

Review - I Know an Old Lady

I Know an Old Lady

by Edward Miller
Date: 2021
Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 20
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

An updated and slightly different take on a classic folk song “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” with a new, kid-friendly ending, I Know an Old Lady is a humorous picture book for children featuring the iconic old lady that can’t stop eating the strangest things! With memorable lyrics, absurd illustrations, and die-cut elements that gradually build and build upon each other until the old lady’s stomach is filled with bizarre objects, from a small fly all the way up to a horse, this silly children’s book of a timeless tale will delight both kids and parents alike!

(synopsis from NetGalley; see it on Goodreads)

I think I'm missing something here. What are the white blobs that correspond with the shape of the old lady's expanding stomach? I'm still scratching my head over that. (I'm wondering if it's some feature that's only visible in the physical version.)

This may be a kid-friendly take on the old song, but it's been watered down to the point where it's kind of boring. Instead of the refrain of "perhaps she'll die", we get various rhyming phrases that change as the book goes on. And the ending, which sees the old lady die from swallowing a horse, just makes reference to the fact that the old lady is pretty full.

The illustrations are colourful and appealing. Aside from those weird white blobs, they're kind of fun.

Overall, I don't know if I'd recommend this one. The original is funny because it's both nonsensical and logical. This version is just nonsensical and overly sanitized.

Thank you to NetGalley and Fox Chapel Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.14 out of 5

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