Retells the cumulative tale in which an old lady pays the supreme penalty for her peculiar eating habits.
"Ages 2-6. The popular cumulative nonsense rhyme gets uproarious treatment in a wild picture book that will make kids chant and point and laugh out loud. Karas' exaggerated cartoon-style pictures in gouache, acrylic, and pencil revel in the slapstick action and laconic absurdity. This old lady is determined and dangerous. Dressed in black with a gray bun on top of her head, she becomes more and more witchlike as she swells with all the creatures she gobbles up whole. Seeing her with her tongue hanging out and her tiny white hands on her huge expanding abdomen, you can't help imagining how it must feel to have a spider jiggling inside you or to force a goat down your gullet. The boy watching her is alternately curious, astonished, scared, furious ("Oh, what a hog to swallow a dog!"), and aghast. He records it all with pen and camera as the scene moves from her room to her urban neighborhood to the garishly green countryside. Best of all, what Karas adds to the poem is foreshadowing: while the verse is running through all the things the old lady is busy digesting, the next doomed animal is running from her on the opposite page. It's crazy and, yes, deliciously funny. ~--Hazel Rochman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Karas (Like Butter on Pancakes, Children's Forecasts, Jan. 23) may not know why the old lady of the 1960 Rose Bonne/Alan Mills song swallowed the fly, but his funereal palette captures the mood of the rhyme in all its macabre splendor. Clad in a black dress and just-glimpsed white petticoat, an old lady gulps down a spider, a bird, a cat and larger and larger animals. Karas, meanwhile, responds with increasingly dark images; a TV displays weather reports of a thunderstorm, and ominous gray clouds gather as the lady grows green around the gills. Throughout, a boy with a notebook and camera-the narrator, perhaps-sneaks after the ever-fattening lady and documents her bizarre feast. Accommodating those readers who would rather not think about devouring a live goat, Karas discreetly places the lady's back to the audience as she shoves the animal headfirst down her gullet. The bounding lyrics, which playfully repeat the sequence in descending order, are irrepressibly gleeful. A musical arrangement is included. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved