A Squash and a Squeeze

Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

For ages 4 to 7

Get this book
This book is best for:
  • narrative - sequencing
  • narrative - story moral
  • rhyming
  • synonyms


“Wise old man, won't you help me, please? My house is a squash and squeeze.” A little old lady grumbles and grouses that her house is too small. When she asks a wise old man for help, he suggests that she brings her farmyard animals into the house. That’s when things get really cramped! When she finally manages to push the farm animals all out again, she’s amazed at how big her house feels, and she comes to realise that it’s precisely the right size for her.

A Squash and a Squeeze is a brilliantly funny story with an important moral about being grateful for what we have. The lively rhyming and repetitive text make this a fantastic book for developing children’s speech and language skills. The repetition allows children to quickly become familiar with the words and phrases, allowing them to join in and engage in story time. I like using the story as part of a sequencing activity where children recall the order of the animals taken into the house. It’s lovely to see the book making use of a range of synonyms for the word ‘small’ in reference to the old lady’s house after each animal is added (e.g. poky for one, tiny for two, titchy for three, tiny for four, etc.).

For further speech and language goals to target using ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’, see the list below.

Book Details

Narrative Structure: Complete Episode

Story Plot: Repetitive Tale

  • animals - farm
  • folktale
  • household items
  • places - farm, home

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /g/ - goat, jug, egg, leg, pig
  • /h/ - house, help, hen
  • /l/ - little, lady, laid, larder, tickle
  • /n/ - nose, tiny, teeny, weeny, man, plan, in, hen, again
  • /s/ - house
  • /s/ blends - sneeze, squash, squeeze
  • /sh/ - shelf, she, shove, squash, push
  • voiced /th/ - the, there, then, them
  • /w/ - wise
  • /z/ - wise, please, squeeze, nose
  • conjunctions (and)
  • objective pronouns (me)
  • possessive pronouns (my, your)
  • subjective pronouns (she)
  • action verbs (flap, tread, sit, peck, chase, jump, fly, shove, push, frolic)
  • matching
  • labelling
  • synonyms (poky, tiny, titchy, teeny, weeny)
  • asking for help
  • character description
  • sequencing
  • initiating event
  • problem
  • plans
  • resolution
  • moral
  • dialogue
  • direct character speech
Rhyme & Sound Awareness:
  • rhyme
Book Info

Published by Pan MacMillan in 2016 (ISBN: 9781509804788)

To stay updated on the latest and greatest picture books for speech and language development, subscribe to our email newsletter.