cover image There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

, . . Chronicle, $16.99 (18pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-6793-1

The old lady in this smart reimagining could have been designed by Dada artists: her eerie, bespectacled eyes peer at readers from atop this tall, narrow-format book and her skin is made from an antique map. To access the story, readers must remove a slipcover (which functions as her coat): appropriately enough, the darkly humorous story takes place in her midsection. Holmes delights in showing the animals' grisly successes at dispatching their predecessors (the bird sent to catch the spider dangles three of the arachnid's eyes from its mouth, but ends up a roast dinner for the cat on the next page). As expected, the old lady doesn't make it through the ordeal: her eyes close as the final page turns. A stylishly macabre treasure. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)