There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs
Oct 27, 2010 Kelley Huston
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs - Johnette Downing
The classic story gets an interesting new telling with a fun twist at the end.
Joynette Downing is a singer/songwriter/author from Louisana. She is an award winner for her music and books. She has written several chidren's book. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs.
Plot of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs
Everyone know the classic song story of the old lady who swallowed stuff. In the classic she swallows bugs and animals. Joynette Downing has adapted the tale to include all bugs.
The story begins with the old lady swallowing a fly and spider much like the original. Then she goes on to swallow other bugs: a flea, an ant, a slug, a worm, a mosquito, and a roach. As she swallows each bug a description of why she swallowed each bug. For example when she swallows the mosquito the description is "...Well, it was eating her burrito, so she swallowed the mosquito."
Each bug joins the others in the old lady's tummy until she is very full. The tummy is descriped as being tight and the little old lady croaks. But who the little old lady is in the end is the surprise twist to this story.
Illustrations of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs
Johnette Downing is known for her colorful collage illustrations. The illustrations in this book fit beautifully into this type. She has selected bright colors for the background of each picture. The insects are pictured in the traditional color for each type. The illustrations practically pop right off the page with their vibrant colors and texture. The book is beautiful and prereaders will enjoy just looking at the pictures which can be used by these children to retell the story.
Verses in There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs
The verses in the book are catchy and easy to remember. The verses feature rhymes and fun descriptions of what the bugs were doing before being swallowed or do after being swallowed. The child listening to the story will quickly catch on to the verses and by the fourth or fifth bug is actually reciting the spider and fly part with the reader.
The verses are written featuring color as well to add emphasis to the bug names as well as other words in the text. The color adds emphasis to the text and helps the reader associate the bug name with the bug.
Uses for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs
This book would be a wonderful addition to any library of Old Lady books. Not only could it be used in a unit with these other books, but it could be a starting place for older students to do a rewrite of the old lady story featuring their own things she eats. Most kids would find this an exciting activity and would enjoy being creative in such a way.
This book would also be a good introduction to some less common types of bugs such as slugs and roaches. It provides a chance for the teacher to explain what these insects are and what they really look like. It may be a catalyst for some students to do further research to learn more about the types of bugs mentioned in the book.
The combination of colorful illustrations and rhythmic verses as well as the surprise twist at the end make this a book that will be enjoyed by all readers. Parents can enjoy it time and time again with their children.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs Adapted and Illustrated by Johnette Downing
Pelican Publishing Company, 2010
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