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Christmas book: There was an old lady who swallowed a bell kids' book review

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell
photo by Nicole Franklin

In the book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro, the Old Lady swallows everything that Santa needs to deliver presents on time for Christmas!  The silliness and the repetition throughout the book keep the attention of all children. 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell Book Overview

The Old Lady isn't swallowing a fly or a pie this time!  She's swallowing just about everything that Santa would use to deliver his presents on Christmas Eve.  The Old Lady goes through a bell, bows, gifts, a sack, a sleigh, and reindeer.  Just as she is about to have a little candy cane treat, she hears, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" and realized it was time!  A loud whistle was all it took to get all the Christmas necessities back where they belong so Santa could be off to deliver presents to boy and girls.

This book can be purchased for $6 at local Jacksonville bookstores and online.

Book Review

Throughout the book, the illustrations, by Jared Lee, help tell this silly story.  Children can watch in amazement to see just how big the Old Lady's mouth can stretch open to actually swallow a sleigh!  The repetition and rhyming words make the story predictable which helps young children be more involved in a story and even learn to say the words that are going to come next!  The story itself is simple, and upbeat, unlike the original song, There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, where kids hear the words, "perhaps she'll die" over and over.  Parents will enjoy reading the story because of the easy text and rhythm.  This book makes a great gift to read throughout the month of December!

Jacksonville parents will see this book and other Scholastic Books in book orders coming home from school with children.  The book orders are a great way to build up book collections and are fairly inexpensive!

Follow Up Activities

  • Make a rhyming word memory game with index cards that include words from the story.
  • Let children act out the story with real props from the book.
  • Make up another version of "There Was an Old Lady."

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