A Squash and a Squeeze

A Squash and a Squeeze is by the creators of The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

This is one of Monkeys favourite books at the moment, he first had it read to him at nursery and he enjoyed it there so much that we bought it for him it’s the 20th anniversary edition although inside the author actually states the story is nearer 40 years old, starting as a song on the BBC for children’s television – although you would never have guessed it was as old as that!

The author goes on to discuss how the story came about, she writes “I had been asked to write some story songs for a weekly series in which a mole and hedgehog visited a circus tent to watch a story being sung and acted by puppets.  I supplied some songs based on Aesop fables and then the producer suggested a musical version of the traditional tale of the old lady whose house was too small.  The song was subsequently used on Playdays.  Unknown to me, a future editor of children’s books heard this recording when her children were small and she couldn’t get it out of her head.  13 years later she succeeded in tracking me down via the BBC” and thus the story was published for further generations of children and parents alike to enjoy.

The story focuses on a little old lady who lives in a house on her own but which she feels is too small for her and asks the wise old man to help her.  He encourages her to take in various animals such as her hen, goat, pig and finally her cow – all with interesting consequences.  It appears to have helped my son understand the concept of size and he especially likes the bit about the cow dancing on the table and laughs at the picture every time.  My favourite part is when the pig is added to the house.

Whenever I’ve finished reading this story my son is all smiles and happy and we sometimes read it again straight away.  He also always says “we love this story, aww” I think all children of any age would enjoy this story as it’s funny, the illustrations capture the mood and it rhymes. So as Monkey is currently in bed and I can’t ask him I would say he would give this 10/10 and I would also give it the same mark and highly recommend it.

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