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This is a story that I remember fondly from my childhood and now one that I read at bedtime to my son, who is two. We received this book as a gift from a friend whose own son hand outgrown it. It currently sells at £3.99 on Amazon.
Our version of the book is as pictured above. It is a large sized paper back version with a brightly coloured front cover with a picture of an old lady on. On opening the book, the same picture is on the right hand side of the page, but with a fly in her stomach. The brightly coloured page on the left hand side has lines from the story - the first line being 'there was an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don't know why she swallowed a fly, perhaps she'll die'. You then turn the next page and the lady has now a spider and fly in her stomach. This picture is completed by a hole cut out the page to reveal the next animal in the story - the hole gets bigger as more animals are added.
The lady goes on to swallow various animals to eat the last one she swallowed (ie a spider to catch the fly etc). In the end she swallows a horse - and dies. Not the best end to a children's story but it is a light hearted story and not one that should upset too many children! I like reading this story as it is short enough to read alongside another and has lovely, humorous rhyming text. My son loves the story - I think that this is partly due to the repetitive nature of the story - on each page a new rhyming sentence is added and the previous sentences repeated. He also enjoys the illustrations, which are very simple but brightly coloured and the animals are instantly recognisable to him.
This is a very short rhyming story that my son enjoys and will often request at bedtime. It is well written and my son finds it really funny too. It is light-hearted and will not engage the child for long but it's nice to have a few shorter books in our collection and this is certainly one that we enjoy.