There Was an Old Sailor, by Claire Saxby & Cassandra Allen

There was an old sailor
who swallowed a krill
I don’t know why
he swallowed the krill
It’ll make him ill

So begins this delightful rhyming picture offering, a nautical twist on the old rhyme There was an Old Woman, which sees the sailor eat his way through a host of ocean dwelling critters, from the tiny krill, to a fish, a ray, and even a whale.

Young readers will love the silliness of the tale, and be able to join in the repetitive rhyme. They’ll also be surprised by the ending, which adults may also approve of, because unlike the traditional rhyme, in this one the eater does not end up dead.

The illustrations, in richly muted ocean tones, are beautiful, with lots of comical touches. The sailor’s expressions are especially humorous and endearing. Back of book fishy facts provide a gently educational touch.

This is a gorgeous hard cover offering which will sit well in libraries and classroom collections, but be just as loved and treasured at home.

There Was an Old Sailor

There Was an Old Sailor, by Claire Saxby and Cassandra Allen
Walker Books, 2010

This book can be purchased online from (the appropriately named bookstore) Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.