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There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant


In this Texas-styled reworking of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, a cowboy downs a variety of native Southwest creatures, including a spider, a roadrunner, a lizard, an armadillo and a boar.
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In this Texas-styled reworking of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, a cowboy downs a variety of native Southwest creatures, including a spider, a roadrunner, a lizard, an armadillo and a boar.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ketteman and Terry have lassoed the perfect combination of comedic language and art, making this new spin on an old tale worthy of a resounding 'Yee-haw!'" School Library Journal, March 2014

". . .it's a romping, regional retelling that introduces new animals to boot." Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2014

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Swallowing a stinging, fiery ant was not enough in this cumulative poem about a cowpoke who consumes all kinds of creatures. To settle the heat in his gut, the cowpoke eats a large spider to bite the ant that is causing the stomach fire. The cowboy continues swallowing larger animals such as a spiky lizard, smelly armadillo, and a rattlesnake to take on the previous ones, all of which are giving him indigestion. After swallowing the longhorn, the cowpoke still had problems in his stomach, which causes him to endure further pain and suffering. The illustrations are comical and the colors are rich with golden tones in a desert-like environment. Read to find out how the cowpoke finally resolves the dilemma of all the animals that he consumed. Children who enjoyed The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly may enjoy this retelling in a cowboy version with its rhyme and rhythm. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This cowboy version of the classic song is a rootin' tootin' good time. Ketteman has done an exceptional job of bringing "There Once Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" to the Southwest, incorporating varmints like an armadillo, lizard, and longhorn to give the story a true desert, uh, flavor. The writing echoes the storytelling style of rustlers gathered round a campfire, which will make it really fun for storytime. The author also includes a twist toward the end that will absolutely delight children. Terry's artwork uses a palette of rich, warm earth tones and complements the entertaining text with charming, bug-eyed characters in slapstick action against a backdrop of cacti, sandstone formations, an outhouse, a saloon, and the cowpoke's cabin. Ketteman and Terry have lassoed the perfect combination of comedic language and art, making this new spin on an old tale worthy of a resounding "Yee-haw!"—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
"There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" gets a down-home Texan transformation. An exaggerated blockhead of a cowboy accidentally swallows a fire ant. His eyes bulge and cheeks puff wide—"The cowpoke panted, and his voice got higher. / ‘Yippie-ti-yay! My stomach's on fire!' " He needs to fix this situation right quick. So what does he do? Why, swallow a spider, of course. But that spider (complete with eight eyes) wiggles and waggles inside him. And so he downs a string of Southwestern creatures—a snake, a roadrunner, an armadillo (shortened to " 'dillo" for the rhythm's sake), a boar and more. The poor cowpoke looks more bedraggled and desperate with each passing animal. But before the expected tragic end of the cumulative song can befall him, determination kicks in. He sets his 10-gallon hat firmly on his head and declares, "If I want it done right, I'll do it myself." In a twist sure to stop young readers in their tracks, the cowboy swallows his rope, his horse and…himself. Those animals stampede right out of his mouth. Warm, sun-baked hues and wide-mouthed gulping scenes amp up the lunacy. Alas, the rhythm takes some bumpy turns, so singing out loud requires practice. It doesn't outshine the original, but it's a romping, regional retelling that introduces new animals to boot. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807578506
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 785,341
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 13.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Ketteman is the author of more than twenty picture books, including Senorita Gordita and The Three Little Gators, a 2010 Wanda Gag Award Honor Book. A longtime resident of Texas, she now lives on Sanibel Island, Florida, with her husband.

Will Terry has illustrated more than twenty children's books, most recently Skeleton for Dinner. He teaches illustration part-time at Utah Valley State College and creates e-book apps. He lives in Cedar Hills, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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