cover image There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider

There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider

Jennifer Ward, illus. by Steve Gray. Amazon/Two Lions, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4778-2637-9

The duo behind There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea, There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog, and other titles soldier on with a Halloween-themed riff on the cumulative “There Was an Old Lady” nursery rhyme. In this version, a bulgy-eyed mummy rises from its sarcophagus and proceeds to swallow a string of objects, animals, and people, including a spider, crow, bone, and witch. In increasingly frenetic cartoons, Gray stages the debacle on the grounds of a quintessential haunted house, precariously perched in a tree over a graveyard. Full-spread scenes of the mummy chasing his victims alternate with glimpses of what’s going on in his belly—the swallowed creatures appear to be having a reasonably good time, simmering green witch’s brew over a campfire—which should make for some enjoyably silly Halloween reading. Ages 4–8. Agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. (July)