When I was a child, I grew up living next door to my Granny, who we visited daily. A few of the things I remember most about spending time at her house was her love of Jeopardy, belief in a daily cup of coffee and after lunch rest time, and her zest for learning. She was a high school English teacher and after school we spent a lot of time playing learning games. One rhyme that she used to tell that sticks in my memory the most is "The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." If I close my eyes I can still see her face and hear her reciting, "I don't know why, she swallowed a fly? Perhaps she'll die." I used to love this rhyme, because of it's repetition (I'm a sucker for repetition and rhyme) and also because of the absurdity of a little old lady eating a fly and other animals. I mean seriously, who eats a horse? Having a bug theme in my classroom, I love to start out the year with a puppet set of the poem for the kids to act out. They love playing the parts and feeding the animals to the old lady. We also make our own paper puppets and feed them to a little old lady with a sandwich bag belly. So fun!
So you can image my delight, when the first library book my son checked out in kindergarten was There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. This is a book in the Fly Guy series about a boy named Buzz and his pet Fly Guy. In this story, Buzz and Fly Guy are visiting Buzz's grandma, who accidentally swallows Fly Guy! Of course she swallows, all of the typical animals in sequence (spider, bird, cat, dog, goat, cow) but just as she's about to swallow the horse, Fly Guy shouts, "Buzz!" When Buzz replies, Fly Guy flies right out of grandma's belly followed by his animal friends. Grandma doesn't die and it's a happy ending for all. A fun twist on a familiar rhyme that young listeners and easy chapter book readers will all enjoy!