Monday, October 17, 2011

There Was an Old Monster!

Title: There Was an Old Monster!
Category: Picture Book
Grades: 2-5 years
Author: Rebecca Emberley
Illustrator: Ed Emberley
Publisher: Orchard Books
Date: 2009

In this goofy spin on The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, an old monster manages to swallow a tick.  Attempting to get rid of it, he swallows a succession of unusual animals, including an unfortunate number of red ants which cause some dancing in the poor monster's pants.  After swallowing a bear with no relief, the monster takes on a lion and that is the end of him. 

This book is particularly fun due to the accompanying musical rap done by the authors.  Vivid and colorful illustrations, with a cutout feel, bring this story to life and add heaps of visual appeal -- each page has plenty to look at without being overwhelming.  The pictures can be easily adapted to a flannel board or children's drawings as well.  The rap with its catchy, scratchy refrain allow lots of preschooler participation, and the rhyme and repetition can encourage participation even if the music is not used.  For children familiar with The Old Woman, this book is a great beginning to introducing variant tales and fractured tales, and should also appeal to preschooler's developing sense of humor.


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