There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Boot

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Overview

There was an old woman who didn't like children,

Who lived in a musty old,
crusty old boot,

Who had an old cat who didn't like kittens,

Who didn't like anything little or cute.

So when a family with FIVE boisterous children moves into the tumble-down shoe next door, the ...

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Overview

There was an old woman who didn't like children,

Who lived in a musty old,
crusty old boot,

Who had an old cat who didn't like kittens,

Who didn't like anything little or cute.

So when a family with FIVE boisterous children moves into the tumble-down shoe next door, the old woman will do anything to be rid of the pests. But her plan backfires, and soon she discovers a fate worse than children! NOW what will the old woman do?

Jane Manning's lively pictures combine with Linda Smith's rollicking nursery rhyme in a book that will have children laughing out loud.

The old woman who lives in a boot uses a magic potion to quiet the noisy children who live in a shoe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The late Smith (Mrs. Biddlebox) imagines life next door to the woman and her brood who lived in the shoe. It's no fun at all, according to the neighbor and eponymous boot-dweller, who "didn't like anything little or cute" (and whose bulbous nose and prominent chin emphasize her hag-like qualities). Fed up with the "clattering, chattering, clamoring crew" next door, the crone tries to bewitch the children into a permanent sleep with some Kiddie-Be-Gone that she buys at a witch's lawn sale. Instead, the stale potion turns the children into elderly kvetches. "They demanded a plate./ They complained as they ate." Maybe being surrounded by lively children isn't so bad after all, reasons the old woman, and a dose of Kiddie-Come-Back makes it so. Manning's (The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches) bucolic, shoe-dotted landscape displays a fine sense of fancy, and the dense acrylic compositions work well as individual set pieces-the children-turned-geezer scenes are particularly funny (and should strike a chord with youngsters who've been secretly appalled by an elderly relative). But visually, the book gathers little visual momentum. It's up to Smith to build the dramatic tension, which she does expertly with cliffhanger page-endings, rhetorical questions and bouncy, nursery-style rhymes. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When the proverbial woman who lived in a shoe moves next door with all her noisy children, the old woman in the boot, who doesn't like children "or anything cute" decides she must do something to make them leave. She tries a "Kiddie-Be-Gone" potion from the witch down the street, but it turns the children into old, grumpy "grouches and biddies" that drive her wild. So she tries mixing "Kiddie-Come-Back," which not only reverses the first, but turns her cat into a kitten "little and cute." The jingling rhymes end with a happier old woman, in "a riot of laughter." Manning delivers the visual partner with the verve that such jolly versification demands. She fills the double-page scenes with colorful cartoon characters, including a pimply-nosed green witch and active kids with bright, smiling faces who soon become caricatures of grumpy seniors. Add the benign landscape and a spirited puss to the parodied old woman and we have a jolly romp. 2003, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This new take on a nursery rhyme features a grouchy old woman "who didn't like children" and her cat "who didn't like kittens." One day, much to their chagrin, a mother and her five playful youngsters move in next door. The crotchety woman buys a "Kiddie-Be-Gone" potion from a witch, but the concoction is stale. After drinking a cupful, the siblings turn into grouchy old people, "the naggiest, craggiest crew," and their complaining soon becomes unbearable. Luckily, the witch returns just in time with some "Kiddie-Come-Back" elixir that restores the children to their former state. By story's end, the elderly lady has come to appreciate her rambunctious, jovial neighbors. The rhyming text keeps the action moving quickly. The glossy, colorful artwork is filled with characters who have oversized heads, strikingly beady eyes, and expressive eyebrows. Supplemental fare that could round out a storytime.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Mrs. Biddlebox (2002) posits another irascible senior citizen, this one living in a big boot with only an equally irritable cat for company. The arrival of five rambunctious children to a neighboring shoe sends both scurrying to the nearest witch for a supply of "Kiddie-Be-Gone." Unfortunately, it's a stale batch (and she doesn't read the instructions); suddenly, the coterie of cheerful young folk is transformed into a huddle of grumpy, querulous oldsters, "Some saggy and baggy, with moles on their skin, / Some crinkled and wrinkled, with rolls on their chin." Manning sets this cautionary tale in a landscape of rolling hills and widely scattered shoes and cottages. The old folk are all marked by scowls beneath oversized red noses-until the old woman hastily stirs up a batch of "Kiddie-Come-Back" that restores her neighbors to a fresh-faced, "clattering, chattering, clamoring crew" of children. "Now what would that old woman do?" Well, if you can't beat 'em. . . . Readers of Mother Goose with lingering questions about that old woman with so many children will find some answers at last, in this lively take on the traditional rhyme. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780066237466
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/29/2003
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Smith is the author of When Moon Fell Down, Mrs. Biddlebox, There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Boot, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book Mrs. Crump's Cat. Linda lived a full life in a short period of time. On June 28, 2000, she passed away after a two-year battle with breast cancer, but she left behind a world of language, love, and good humor that shines through in her books.

Jane Manning is the illustrator of many books, including Cindy Ellen by Susan Lowell as well as the New York Times bestselling I Can Read Chapter Book The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches by Alice Low and the I Can Read Books Baa-Choo!, Pip Squeak, and Drip, Drop by Sarah Weeks. She lives in Deep River, Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2003

    Brilliant!

    At our house, readers and read-to both absolutely love Linda Smith's books! This is yet another example of her wicked sense of humor, with a wonderful take-away value.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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