A delightful new twist on a familiar tale!

There was an old sailor who swallowed a krill. I don’t know why he swallowed the krill – it’ll make him ill … A nautical take on a much-loved rhyme.


Claire Saxby was born in Melbourne and grew up in Newcastle. She’s lived in more houses than she can remember, and attended many schools. Claire is the author of many books including There Was an Old Sailor, illustrated by Cassandra Allen, which won the Crystal Kite Member Choice Award, Australia and New Zealand Division, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, 2011.

Cassandra Allen was born and raised in Australia, and now lives in France, drawing almost every day and soaking up the wonders of life in Europe. After moving to Europe her career grew wings and she began illustrating children's books, amongst other editorial work for many years.


The rhythm of the language is captivating even the youngest toddler and the pictures are engaging and beautifully imagined. It is a story that has become a favourite in our household.


The rhyming and repetition will make this a favorite read-aloud choice for storytime, as children will happily participate in reading the repeated sections, which are so easily and quickly memorized. In addition, there is a “Fishy Facts” spread at the back of the book that contains a true fact about each animal in the story (including “A blue whale can eat millions of krill a day!”), which would make for a fantastic introduction to a discussion on the size of sea creatures and the food chain.

Kids Can Press


Crystal Kite Award
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards, 3-5 Years
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