Children’s Hour: A Squash and a Squeeze

Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

Image from Amazon

A Squash and a Squeeze was a favourite book in toddler room when I started being based there, but is disappeared, this week it has reappeared so we’re introducing the story to a whole new group of toddlers. A Squash and a Squeeze it the story of an old woman who thinks her house is just to small. She goes to a wise old man for help and he tells her to “Take in your hen”…so she does and returns to the wise old man who tells her to take in increasingly large animals until she has a hen, a goat, a pig and a cow in her house…and it really is A Squash and a Squeeze . Then he tells her to take the animals out again, of course in comparison her house is enormous! Really the message behind this story is to be grateful for what you’ve got.  The woman’s house may not be bigger but at least she has a house, and it’s all hers. Of course the children don’t really get this message but they still enjoy the story. They find the idea of having all those animals in your house funny- especially when the cow is dancing on the table. They like the rhymes too, and the repetition which makes it easy for them to ‘read’ it themselves.

I like to imagine that the old woman is gradually getting more cheesed off with the wise old man as he keeps giving her what seem to be stupid solutions (she just wanted him to come and build an extension really), and he wise old man laughing as she seems to blindly follow them.

Buy A Squash and a Squeeze:

Paperback (£3.89)

Boardbook (£5.39)

Braille (£5.99)


Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

5 responses to “Children’s Hour: A Squash and a Squeeze

  1. Toots

    This story reminds me of Stone Soup! The old woman refuses to give the old tramp shelter for the night, saying she is poor and has no food, until the tramp says he will make her some soup using his special stone. She likes the idea so lets him into her cottage. He starts to make the soup, placing the stone in some hot water, and tastes it, “Mmmm …. Delicious. If only we had a bit of onion it would be perfect.”. So the old woman finds she has a bit of onion in the cupboard. “Mmmm….Delicious. If only there was a few slices of carrot….”. Etc. (The old woman is well and truly taken for a ride). These old women have so many lessons to learn!


  2. You don’t tend to get clever old women do you? Like the woman with her pig- would have been much easier just to pick him over thee stile.


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