'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 20 May 2011

Review: There Was An Old Sailor

We all adore that time-honoured classic There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly; I know its delectable lilt still meanders around my head, and many's the time I've read new versions of this classic to my kids (even sometimes invoking the tune).

The rhythm, the humour, the sheer absurdity of it all made that book such a winner - and in this cleverly penned sea-faring version, author Claire Saxby has taken the absurdity up a whole other level . . . with her central character swallowing none other than a blue whale!

I can just imagine little kids gasping in wide-eyed wonder as this story is read aloud to them - as our sailor friend starts out with krill, chows down through rays, jellyfish and seals, all the way to that enormous blue whale, before emitting a teensy burb that unleashes his bellyfull into the ocean once again.

Rhythmically penned, the story is beautifully complemented by Allen's stunning illustrations in whimiscal seaside colours... with an enormous dash of humour.

Absolutely adorable (even though it does make me feel a little sea sick...).

See our interview with author Claire Saxby on how she came to write this gorgeous book!

Title: There Was an Old Sailor
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Cassandra Allen
Publisher: Walker Books, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 February 2010
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921150715
For ages: 0 - 3
Type: Picture book