Tuesday, July 22, 2014

There Was an Old Sailor, by Claire Saxby (illustrated by Cassandra Allen)

I do love cumulative rhymes in the style of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and this is a particularly good one. The old sailor swallows a krill, a jelly, a fish...all the way up to a whale (at which point he burps them all up and sets sail).

The illustrations are delightful--which is especially important when you're doing a variation of such a familiar, well known rhyme--and the book even ends with "fishy facts" about each of the creatures the sailor swallowed.

When I was a daycare teacher, I certainly sang the original song plenty of times, and also sought out the many variations available as picture books. One of my favourites was There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow, by Lucille Colandro, who has made a career out of writing variations on the same theme. 

So I was surprised that when I read this book to Magda she wasn't familiar with the concept. "Why did he swallow a whole squid? Where did he get the seal from? How is that even possible??" Did I really never sing "There Was an Old Lady" to her before? 

After we read this book, we watched a video of the original song on YouTube and she appreciated the rhyme even more. I also noticed that one of the comments on the video said that the song is actually great for teaching various blended consonant sounds (catchswallowed, fly, spider, perhapswriggled, etc.) which I never thought about, but it's absolutely true! And since this book stays very close to the original rhyme except changes which creatures are being eaten, this book is also great for practicing consonant sounds. Actually, it includes even more combinations than the original because of the krill, squid, whale, etc. Nice!

There Was an Old Sailor
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Cassandra Allen
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date:
View on Amazon

Source: NetGalley


There Was an Old Lady
Who Swallowed a Fly,
by Pam Adams
There Was an Old Lady
Who Swallowed a Fly,
 by Simms Taback
There Was a Cold Lady
Who Swallowed
Some Snow,
by Lucille Colandro
There Was an Old
Lady Who Swallowed
Some Books!
by Lucille Colandro

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