Author: Rose Bonne; Music by Alan Mills
Illustrator: Abner Graboff
Publisher: Rand McNally, 1961
Themes: fly, nonsense, cumulative tale
Opening: I know an old lady who swallowed a fly. I don’t know why she swallowed a fly! I guess she’ll die!
Summary: (from Amazon) For more than a century, this deceptively simple rhyme has delighted children and parents alike. Its galloping rhythm is perfect for reading out loud, becoming a memory game as the list of animals grows—from fly and spider to bird, cat, dog, and goat. Abner Graboff’s bright and starting illustrations combine beautifully with the original verse to bring this subversive, irreverent tale to life.
I like this book because: my friend Bonnie gave it to me, one of the only children’s books she found while sorting out items at the home her parents lived in for decades. So first, special meaning, but Bonnie knew I’d like this one – and I say, who wouldn’t? This classic is an example of bold graphic style and humorous simplicity paired with the definitive version of this cumulative nonsense song in American history! Am I too passionate?
Resources/Activities: watch a fly as it moves around, on your arm, the dog, your lunch! Play a color/fly swatter game like this one HERE; have fun withe the folllowing fingerplay:
Five Little Flies Fingerplay
Five little flies buzzing through a hive,
One snuck some honey, and took a deep dive.
Four little flies buzzing through a door,
One slipped and fell, Crash! on the floor.
Three little flies buzzing through the trees,
One bumped the bark and bloodied his knees.
Two little flies buzzing through a shoe,
One held his nose and said, PEE YOO!
One little fly buzzing through a bun,
The swatter goes SPLAT! Now there are none For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.