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"Johnette Downing knows the child's mind and the child's heart deeply. Her reshaping of the classic tale and her striking illustrations are documentation of her brilliant visitations into those ...
"Johnette Downing knows the child's mind and the child's heart deeply. Her reshaping of the classic tale and her striking illustrations are documentation of her brilliant visitations into those places where the child's imagination resides."
--Darrell Bourque, Louisiana poet laureate 2009-2011
"Johnette Downing is a true Louisiana artist. She sings and plays music; she paints; and she loves great Louisiana food. I fell in love with her work a few years ago when she sang 'Today Is Monday in Louisiana' on my PBS television series. Kudos to Johnette on another great work."
--Chef John Folse
"There was an old lady who swallowed a fly . . ." And so begins this fun and flavorful twist to the familiar tale of one very hungry old lady with a taste for bugs. Gulping down insects, the old lady soon fills her belly with a spider, slug, fly, flea, and others. Vibrant collage-style illustrations accompany the rhythmic verse of this wiggly, jiggly, creepy-crawly story with a surprise for dessert!
Posted September 28, 2010
"There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. I don't know why she swallowed a fly; perhaps she'll cry." How many of us learned this somewhat whacky, and very fun, song when we were young? I remember singing it over and over and giving myself a good laugh as I imagined all the strange things the old lady swallowed. Now, singer/songwriter Johnette Downing has put her own unique spin on the famous children's song in this 2010 adaptation of There Was An Old Lady. In this newest version, our friendly old lady decides to try some, um, rather interesting new tasty treats. Rather than swallow a cow (as she did in the version I was taught many years ago), our protagonist concentrates on the world of bugs with hysterical results: "There was an old lady/Who swallowed a mosquito./Well, it was eating her burrito,/ So she swallowed the mosquito." The artwork in this latest version of the tale is done in a vibrant collage format that fits perfectly with the story. We never actually see a depiction of the old lady; instead we are shown a big mouth and tongue as they consume each bug, followed by a slowly filling tummy as the creatures congregate in their new "home." The author also adds numerous colorful background visuals, such as flowers, a cattail, and a sunset. But wait! There's a surprise ending where we do finally see the "Old Lady" and I'm guessing it will make most kids giggle with glee. Who is she? I can't tell you that - you'll have to read the book! Quill says: A creative adaptation to a well known song that will have kids reading/singing along over and over.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.