Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, a Marvelous Illustrated Adaptation of Familiar Song

Posted on: October 23, 2015

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there was an old dragon
There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Based on THERE WAS/I KNOW AN OLD LADY Tune
Words by Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrated by Ben Mantle

Just peek at this blog and it is more than obvious that I deeply adore the genre of Illustrated Song.  Even so, it’s true that some are just plain better than others. And, I’ve got a long list of songs that I pray each night that some talented artist will illustrate.  Because there are so many wonderful songs that desperately NEED illustrations (though, I truly understand the challenges, like copyright, for example, that impede the process), I sometimes roll my eyes to see yet another version of songs like TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, OVER IN THE MEADOW or I KNOW AN OLD LADY.

These are easy songs to illustrate.  The words are easy to adapt.  The images are strong.  The tunes are good ones (even if we get tired of hearing them so often).  And everyone knows the tunes.  Yes, I get it.

When I saw THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON on the shelf of the bookstore, though, I was drawn to open it, enchanted by hilarious dragon on the cover and gorgeous colors.  I was not disappointed!  The jewel toned palette chosen by Ben Mantle is wonderfully used through the whole book.  His pictures aren’t just beautiful, though, they are really funny.

After the pictures, the words will dazzle you!

Sometimes I remind children (something I learned from my experience as a cabaret person) is that oen of the joys of singing songs is that you get to say and express words that you don’t use in everyday life.  This new rendition of THERE WAS AN OLD LADY provides a perfect example.  Kids not only will enjoy chewing on marvelous words like: squire, steed, and guzzled, but they might add some marvelous mots to their personal vocabularies, like: hollered, savory, and tassel.

In addition to all the wonderful words, they are written in such a way as they roll off the tongue.  Some renditions of familiar songs includes terrific words and are also beautifully illustrated, but the word order is so strained or convoluted that they cannot be gotten out.  I’m very experienced performer and very good at tongue twisters, so if I can’t get out the words, they really must be challenging.  But THESE words are FUN to say.

I can’t wait to put this book in my sing bag, roll it into a class, and revel in the delicious delight of this illustrated song.

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Publisher’s webpage:
http://www.randomhousekids.com/books/detail/239356-there-was-an-old-dragon-who-swallowed-a-knight

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Author’s webpage for the book:
http://pennyklostermann.com/there-was-an-old-dragon-who-swallowed-a-knight/

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Illustrator’s webpage for the book:
http://www.benmantle.co.uk/COMING-SOON-There-Was-An-Old-Dragon-Who-Swallowed-A-Knight

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Related Posts

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I KNOW AN OLD WOMAN/THERE WAS AN OLD LADY  (AND VARIATIONS) IN SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/i-know-an-and-there-was-an-awful-lots-of-things-to-sing-about/

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PUFF AND THE ASTRONOMER: DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/puff-and-the-astronomer-dont-lose-the-magic/

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PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/puff-the-magic-dragon-a-singable-picture-book/

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WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/when-i-heard-the-learnd-astronomer-a-singable-poem-by-walt-whitman/

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There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, a Marvelous Illustrated Adaptation of Familiar Song
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/there-was-an-old-dragon-who-swallowed-a-knight-a-marvelous-illustrated-adaptation-of-familiar-song/

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Singable Picture Book Wishes 2 (Songs that Wish to be Illustrated)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/singable-picture-book-wishes-2-songs-that-wish-to-be-illustrated/

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4 Responses to "There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, a Marvelous Illustrated Adaptation of Familiar Song"

Hi Emily! I just found this. I was excited to know you sang my book :D

You have no idea how many times I sang it as I was writing and revising. Thanks for featuring it on your blog.
Happy singing!

Hello Penny! I love your name. My sister and I called our paternal grandmother, “Penny.” He name was Evangelyn and her nickname was “Vanny,” but we heard “Penny,” so that’s what we called her. She was wonderful.

And so is your hilarious book! I’ve got quite a few songs (250+) in my repertoire, so I’m glad for the reminder to pull this out. It’s nice to have a “variation on a theme” with a song like this. And your words fit so nicely with the rhythm of the tune. Ofttimes, adaptations have strained rhymes, but your words are fun and fitting. Also, the illustrations are terrific.

I’ve put this into my bag to sing tomorrow morning at an elementary school in Arlington, VA.

Best wishes to you and many thanks for writing!
Emily

Awesome! I hope your time at the school was fun!

Hello! Yes, we had a great time. This was a pre-school class at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA. The kids were so cute. We sang a total of about 8 songs. The kids loved the dragon-y twist on the familiar “Old Lady/Fly” song. They especially laughed when the dragon burped at the end. :-) The teachers laughed, too. Best wishes!

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