Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Publisher: Levine Books
A little old lady's house is just too small. Exasperated, she appeals to a wise old man for advice. His recommendation is to bring her hen into her house with her. Confused, the old lady obeys and invites the hen in, only to have it lay an egg on her rug and fly all around the room! Feeling that the house is now smaller than ever, the old lady goes again to the wise man, who instructs her next to bring in her goat, followed by a whole litany of other animals. A final piece of advice from the wise old man helps the little old lady realize that her house is larger than she once thought.
This book is an excellent one to read aloud to young children. Clever rhymes and animal humor will appeal to preschoolers and early elementary- aged children, who will enjoy joining in on familiar phrases. Julia Donaldson's use of repetition in the storyline provides predictability reminiscent of a nursery rhyme, without becoming boring or redundant. A Squash and a Squeeze will appeal to readers who enjoy Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat or The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly.