There Was a Wee Woman
Erica Silverman & Rosanne Litzinger
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2008 (2008)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch
've always loved the stories behind the stories. When I hear of a book that expands upon a character in a nursery rhyme or fairy tale, I am always intrigued. In this book, acclaimed children's author Erica Silverman offers a retelling of the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lives in a shoe.
owever, in this romp, she is not old, but rather a harried mother of a brood of children (all redheads, to the delight of my own two redheads). The family must deal with space and comfort issues as they are rapidly outgrowing their shoe/home. The pet rabbits are multiplying at breakneck speed, and the children can't even get a seat at the table for breakfast.
ltimately, the mother of the family puts her foot down (so to speak) and they go off in search of larger living quarters. As they are searching for housing, they have adventures along the way, including son Jack falling down a hill (a nod to another well-known nursery rhyme). They also encounter a rat, a snake and other scary creatures, and test out homes that prove to be inadequate, such as an old fish barrel and an unsteady birdhouse perched on a limb. The family finally finds its home as they settle into a little girl's dollhouse.
he rhyming text and pleasing illustrations make this a sweet story that will, like the original nursery rhyme, beg to be read and reread.
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