Cover image for There was an old woman who lived in a boot
There was an old woman who lived in a boot
Smith, Linda, 1949-2007.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : HarperCollins, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
The old woman who lives in a boot uses a magic potion to quiet the noisy children who live in a shoe.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 72958.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



There was an old woman who didn't like children, Who lived in a musty old, crusty old boot, Who had an old cat who didn't like kittens, Who didn't like anything little or cute. So when a family with FIVE boisterous children moves into the tumble-down shoe next door, the old woman will do anything to be rid of the pests. But her plan backfires, and soon she discovers a fate worse than children! NOW what will the old woman do? Jane Manning's lively pictures combine with Linda Smith's rollicking nursery rhyme in a book that will have children laughing out loud.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The late Smith (Mrs. Biddlebox) imagines life next door to the woman and her brood who lived in the shoe. It's no fun at all, according to the neighbor and eponymous boot-dweller, who "didn't like anything little or cute" (and whose bulbous nose and prominent chin emphasize her hag-like qualities). Fed up with the "clattering, chattering, clamoring crew" next door, the crone tries to bewitch the children into a permanent sleep with some Kiddie-Be-Gone that she buys at a witch's lawn sale. Instead, the stale potion turns the children into elderly kvetches. "They demanded a plate./ They complained as they ate." Maybe being surrounded by lively children isn't so bad after all, reasons the old woman, and a dose of Kiddie-Come-Back makes it so. Manning's (The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches) bucolic, shoe-dotted landscape displays a fine sense of fancy, and the dense acrylic compositions work well as individual set pieces-the children-turned-geezer scenes are particularly funny (and should strike a chord with youngsters who've been secretly appalled by an elderly relative). But visually, the book gathers little visual momentum. It's up to Smith to build the dramatic tension, which she does expertly with cliffhanger page-endings, rhetorical questions and bouncy, nursery-style rhymes. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This new take on a nursery rhyme features a grouchy old woman "who didn't like children" and her cat "who didn't like kittens." One day, much to their chagrin, a mother and her five playful youngsters move in next door. The crotchety woman buys a "Kiddie-Be-Gone" potion from a witch, but the concoction is stale. After drinking a cupful, the siblings turn into grouchy old people, "the naggiest, craggiest crew," and their complaining soon becomes unbearable. Luckily, the witch returns just in time with some "Kiddie-Come-Back" elixir that restores the children to their former state. By story's end, the elderly lady has come to appreciate her rambunctious, jovial neighbors. The rhyming text keeps the action moving quickly. The glossy, colorful artwork is filled with characters who have oversized heads, strikingly beady eyes, and expressive eyebrows. Supplemental fare that could round out a storytime.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.