There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell! by Lucille Colandro


ChildrenThere Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell! by Lucille Colandro There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell!Lucille Colandro; Scholastic Inc. 2006WorldCatIllustrated by Jared Lee

Review by Molly

Lucille Colandro’s There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell is a favorite Osage County First Grade holiday singing fun book. We like these barmy, comical, just plain entertaining volumes patterned on a very old thesis.

“There was an old lady who swallowed a bell. How it jingled and jangled and tickled, as well! I don’t know why she swallowed a bell. I wish she’d tell.” – lays downs the mood as well as the amusement which just does not stop.

Lying on her back in the snow the Old Lady is observed gulping velvety bows, to tie up that bell. Subsequently she can be seen dancing in the snow at the same time as she is swallowing a torrent of gifts including a big sack to hold the gifts, that sack is followed by a shiny, red sleigh. The sleigh is to carry the sack of gifts, of course.

Turning the page, and we find her swallowing a squad of quite astonished,  reindeer. – they were in full flight gear, goggles, bombardier jackets and scarves those soaring WWI outfitted reindeer. – Every one knows you must have reindeer to steer the sleigh carrying that big sack of gifts, you know.

The Old Lady was just planning to down some tasty peppermint sticks when she heard a – ho ho ho – and she knew it was time to go.

Read to discover the merry results of her whistle.

Packed with rhyming intonation and entertaining images, this spirited version of a traditional song/poem holds enormous appeal for Osage County First Grade.  With each reading the kids’ gusto develops. We sing our way from page to page reading this amusing Christmas account!

During the month of December Little Readers can be seen taking  There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell for DEAR reading, personal pleasure reading, partner reading, and taking home to sing/read to family.  We utilize the work as we do others as the school term progresses.  Little Learners seek out nouns and verbs, and adjectives. Little Partners work together to choose one page for writing and illustrating in their journals.

Artist Jared Lee’s wittiness is noticeably tickled as he produces the illustrations for Author Colandro’s wacky Old Lady Swallowing books.  On each page the representation fills about 1/2 to 1/3 of the page, and displays the old lady with her knit cap, buttoned jacket, gloves, frowsy skirt, skinny peppermint striped tights, warm socks and boots, AND her rotund, happy little dog.

From snow covered trees, a joyful snowman, audience of birds, horses peeking over the fence, stone cottage, excess of STUFF making its way down her gullet, and then coming together in her expanding girth – bows on bells, gifts into sack, sack into sleight, reindeer in place to – the astonished expressions on the faces of also rotund deer, to Santa himself; the images bring chuckles and bright eyed, excited conduct from Osage County First Grade.

Filled with pleasing, goofy, flamboyantly hued illustrations that just match the enduring feeding of the old lady, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell does go away from the original poem in which the old lady swallowed a horse/she is dead of course. In Colandro and Lee’s account she does not die and, that is a more rewarding ending for Osage County First Grade.

NOTE: no living things die in the book.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell is an outstanding companion work to other Old Lady books including several more by Colandro and Lee.

More books by Lucille Colandro

Link to Books

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