There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly is a repetitive folktale that puts a morosely funny spin on the food chain. Illustrator and designer, Jeremy Holmes, embodies the ‘old lady’ in a lanky book that reveals her gastronomic journey through the pages of her torso. After absurdly consuming one creature too many, the old lady (“she dies, of course”!) meets her end, still clutching a fly swatter against her ornate fly pendant. The last page ends with the old lady’s bespectacled eyes closing. Each page is beautifully rendered in vintage detail of collage cut-outs and aged paper. Holmes’ highly original interpretation of the old folktale breathes new life into an otherwise grim story. His found object design heightens the old coot’s quirkiness and makes a book that is as much a showpiece as it is a story. Perhaps we’ll never know why the old lady swallowed the fly but Holmes certainly gives us a fascinating incentive to find out.
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 18 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books