A Squash and a Squeeze – Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

   A Squash and a Squeeze – Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler,  Arthur A. Levine Books, (9781338052206), c1993, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review)  4

Genre:   Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This is a reprint edition of the first picture book collaboration by Donaldson and Scheffler.  Based on a traditional folktale, it tells the story in rhyming verse of a little old lady who feels her house is too small.  The text bounces along with plenty of repetition to make this a perfect read aloud.  We begin with the little old lady  grumbling about her small house  and asking: “‘Wise old man, won’t you help me, please? My house is a squash and a squeeze.’”  The wise man suggests she bring in her hen, which she does.   The hen causes havoc and makes the house feel even smaller so she again asks the wise old man for help.  He then suggests she bring inside, in turn, her goat, her pig and her cow.  Each addition makes things even worse:  “The little old lady cried,  ‘Heavens alive! It was teeny for four and it’s weeny for five.  I’m tearing my hair out. I’m down on my knees. My house is a squash and a squeeze.”’  When the wise old man tells her to put out all of the animals, the house finally feels huge.  The illustrations add to the humor with such scenes as the hen riding the goat and the cow tap dancing on the table.  A perfect story about being happy with what one has.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will love experiencing their very first book.  A fun addition to story hour and a great read aloud.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review: 4/22/17             

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