Who doesn’t love having Grandma over to their house for a lovely Thanksgiving feast and get together? And who doesn’t love watching Grandma stuff so much food down her gullet that she blows up to the size of a Macy’s Day Parade balloon? And who doesn’t love singing about the whole episode to a beloved children’s song melody? Watch Grandma as she gobbles down pie, cider, rolls, squash, and don’t forget the turkey! You’ll be having so much fun watching her feast that you won’t mind that she didn’t save anything for you.
I believe it was the Greeks who first made famous the practice of taking a very old and over-done story and creating it anew. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly may not have been done as many times as Oedipus or Antigone, but I have certainly seen many versions of that song/story, and not all of them are very good. This one is good. Thanksgiving stories have a tendency to be too mushy, or really weird, or boring. Sometimes you need something silly. My kids could not stop laughing all the way through this book. The rhymes are wonderful (There was an old lady who swallowed a squash, Oh my gosh, a fat yellow squash!), the pictures are hilarious (I especially love the one where Grandma just dumps a giant bowl of salad on her face because she is so impatient to get the stuff into her mouth, and the baby sitting next to her gets pelted with green olives), and the whole thing is completely engaging from start to finish. I read this story about halfway through before it occurred to me that I could sing it, and it was even funnier that way. This is definitely one that my kids will be asking for again.
To find out if this book is at your library, go to World Cat.
To find out more about Alison Jackson, visit her website.
Read about Judith Byron Schachner at her website.