It Couldn't Be Worse!


32 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55037-782-5
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Dosi Cotroneo

Dosi Cotroneo is a freelance writer living in Manotick, Ontario.


When the old farmer’s wife goes to the market to buy fish, the old
fishmonger politely asks her how her family is doing. She replies,
“things couldn’t be worse,” what with all of the noise,
quarreling, and fighting. The fishmonger says that if she simply brings
one of her farm animals into her house each day, things are sure to

But when the farmer’s wife and her husband follow this advice, things
get worse rather than better! Each day the old farmer’s wife goes to
the fishmonger and each day he advises her to bring another farm animal
into their house. With all of the farm animals crammed into her home,
things could not possibly be worse! At last the fishmonger suggests that
the poor woman take all of the farm animals out of her house. Suddenly,
there is plenty of room for everybody and things could not be any

Adapted from the classic folk tale, this hilarious story teaches an
important lesson that both children and adults will appreciate. The text
is complemented by bright, bold, and very funny illustrations that bring
the characters and farm animals to life. Highly recommended.


Van Kampen, Vlasta., “It Couldn't Be Worse!,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,