Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Storybook Corner Book Review: I Know an Old Lady by Edward Miller

 I Know an Old Lady
Written & Illustrated 
Edward Miller

Publisher: Fox Chapel Publishing
Publication date: 5th January 2021
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Pages: 20
RRP: $12.99AUD (Board Book)
Format read: eBook
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley

About the book

An updated and slightly different take on a classic folk song “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” with a new, kid-friendly ending, I Know an Old Lady is a humorous picture book for children featuring the iconic old lady that can’t stop eating the strangest things! With memorable lyrics, absurd illustrations, and die-cut elements that gradually build and build upon each other until the old lady’s stomach is filled with bizarre objects, from a small fly all the way up to a horse, this silly children’s book of a timeless tale will delight both kids and parents alike! 
My review
A new take on an old classic that many readers would have grown up listening to, or reciting themselves.
The images are colourful and wonderfully detailed in a cute cartoon style. I enjoyed the depiction of the old lady who always seems to have a cup of tea and a cupcake on the go.
With a conservative move away from the original verse of "perhaps she'll die" Miller ends each stanza with a different rhyming match to "fly" such as "It makes me cry" and  "I'd rather eat pie."

It is hard to get the full visual effect with an eBook as the hard copy board book has peek-through die cut holes that show the every increasing animals inside the old lady as you turn the page.

Reading this book was a treat for me as well as the children. The full spread illustrations had many elements to look at apart from the mounting collection of animals in the old lady's belly. I loved that the animal that was next to be eaten appeared on the page previous to it being mentioned and the children could speculate what was coming next. The repetitive nature of the rhyming is conducive of audience participation and it didn't take them long to start joining in.

I didn't particularly like the ending with it's veer away from "She died, of course." I really don't think children take their story books so literally that they think an old lady died. Do we really need to be so sensitive? However this is a good version if you have a child that is sensitive to these things.  Anyway, I liked it enough to seek out a hard copy to add to my home library. It was a lot of fun! 

My rating 4/5  ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
Dot & Jay 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author

Edward Miller is the author of many nonfiction children's titles. A prolific graphic designer and longtime art director in children's publishing, Miller lives in New York City.


  1. Aww, this looks cute. What would be the age range for this? I'm already thinking of tiny tots I can gift this to!
    ~ Lex (

    1. I new take on an old classic, suitable for ages 4 to 8. My grandchildren thought it was quite funny.