A Squash and a Squeeze {What We’re Reading}

A Squash and a Squeeze book review

We are big Julia Donaldson fans in this house – Room on the Broom and the Gruffalo regularly feature in Rosalie’s bedtime routine. But this week we have been reading A Squash and a Squeeze, which Rosalie was given for Christmas by Granny and Grandad.

The story is about a little old lady who is grumbling because her house is too small, and seeks the advice of a wise old man…

The wise old man says “take in your hen“, which the little old lady thinks is a most curious plan. But she does as he says, and not surprisingly the hen is a bit of a liability.

Wise old man, won’t you help me, please? My house is a squash and a squeeze.” Naturally, the wise old man suggests she takes in her goat…

I love Axel Scheffler’s illustrations – they are simple and bold, yet seem to convey the story so well – this man actually does look wise, don’t you think? And the animals appear to have personalities of their own.

It was tiny for two and it’s titchy for three” exclaims the poor little lady. So, as recommended by her wise old pal, she fetches her pig…

Then her cow…

By now her house really is a squash and a squeeze!

Quite trustingly (I think I’d have found a new wise old man by now) she re-visits her knowledgeable friend, who tells her to take all the animals back out. Dutifully the little old lady shoos and shoves the animals out until her house feels enormous.

It makes sense really – if your house seems too small, simply invite the local farmyard animals for a visit, then when you get rid of them you’ll be amazed at how much space you have! I’ll let you try it out first…

The actual story, and the moral, are of course too advanced for Rosalie at only 13 months old, but she loves the pace of the Julia Donaldson books, and the repetition makes it seem a little less long, thus holding her attention.

I think this is a book we will be enjoying together for many years to come.

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  • Reply
    Vickie Rich
    February 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Squash and a Squeeze is a favourite of ours too. I know that Julia Donaldson has collaborated with a lot of illustrators but Axel Scheffler is definitely the best as far a we're concerned. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 3, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    It was one of our gateway Julia Donaldson stories back when Kitty was little and it's still one of my favourites, and has entered the family lexicon – if H ever jokes that the house is becoming overrun by childhood clobber all I have to say is "take in your hen!". But the big question is, does your old lady have a 'voice'? Ours is from Yorkshire but my colleague's family's is Scottish!!

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    February 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Good to hear Vickie πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    February 4, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    That's great! I can see this happening in our house too as our family grows πŸ™‚ Our old lady is from the west country!

  • Reply
    February 4, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    What fab illustration ! Looks like a great book #whatweread πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    Katy F
    February 6, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I love this book, I need to do it for my house as I am always complaining that it is too small!! lol!

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    February 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks Nina, it really is a good one πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    February 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Good one Katy! Let me know how that goes πŸ˜‰ x

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