Perfect Picture Book Friday – E-I-E-I-O How Old MacDonald Got His Farm [with a Little Help from a Hen]

Happy Friday, Folks!

While I was writing up this post, my ever-vigilant dogs suddenly roused themselves from a sound sleep to bark and snarl and hurl themselves at the french doors that look out on the back yard.  Assuming such behavior could only mean an invasion of some type, I went to investigate.  Was the bear up from his long winter’s nap?  Had a pack of hungry coyotes dared to breech The Perimeter?  Were we being attacked by giant meatball-headed spaghetti people from Mars?

Shockingly, no!

Here was the cause of the alarm:

One of last year’s babies, looking a little scruffy in between
winter and spring coats

My dogs take their duty as Protectresses of the Family Homestead a little too seriously sometimes 🙂

I did not let them out.  I figured this little miss could use some green grass after the long winter.  So she snacked and the Protectresses sulked and I went back to writing this post.

This is just a little sample of the kind of action-packed, emotionally-charged, wild and crazy life we live up here on Blueberry Hill 🙂

Although Tuesday night’s snow is still melting, I insist on believing it is spring and I have a fun, spring-appropriate title to share with you all today which is especially fitting in view of the wildlife on my lawn that makes this place feel like a farm (of sorts :))!  (And no jokes about the funny farm! :))

Title: E-I-E-I-O How old MacDonald Got His Farm [with a Little Help from a Hen]
Written By: Judy Sierra
Illustrated By: Matthew Myers
Candlewick, February 2014, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: composting, gardening, perseverance, innovation

Opening: “Old MacDonald had a house E-I-E-I-O!  Around that house there was a yard MOW MOW MOW MOW MOW!  MacDonald said, “I love my yard, but mowing grass is mighty hard.”  So off he went to get a goat E-I-E-I-O!

Brief Synopsis: In case anyone was wondering how Old MacDonald got his farm, it all started with too much mowing.  Old MacDonald’s solution? Get a goat.  But the goat only ate the edges and then chewed a hole in MacDonald’s hedges.  Luckily, a smart little red hen came along and taught Old MacDonald a thing or two about sustainable farming 🙂

Links To Resources: Do The Rot Thing: A Teacher’s Guide To Compost Activities, all about Worms, Recycling and Composting, How To Plant Seeds With Kids

Why I Like This Book:  I always love new twists on familiar stories.  Judy Sierra has taken Old MacDonald to a whole new level.  The story is humorous (and so is the art – be sure to read the hen’s diplomas and all the picket signs :)) and young readers will learn about composting and growing a garden right along with Old MacDonald.  This is a great story for spring, and a wonderfully fun way to introduce kids to the concept of green farming.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF peeps, please leave your post-specific links in the list below so we can all come see what fabulous books you’ve chosen this week!  And to all who celebrate, Happy Easter and a belated Happy Passover.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

55 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – E-I-E-I-O How Old MacDonald Got His Farm [with a Little Help from a Hen]

  1. Iza Trapani says:

    Oh my, Susanna, how did you ever get back into the flow of writing after all that drama? 🙂 I have to check this book out. Judy Sierra is a marvelous poet, and as you know, I have a thing for extended nursery rhymes. Thanks!

  2. Wendy Greenley says:

    You have good dogs! I saw this book referenced on the RhyMoPiBo site but my library doesn't have this 2014 release yet! More gnashing of teeth.

  3. Clarbojahn says:

    I had to laugh out loud with YOUR mention of the 'funny farm” , Susanna!! What a hilarious post. I Love the photo.. We get deer, too, here on our yard, which used to be a farm when the boys were little. IF you can count fowl of all kinds and rabbits, dogs and cats a farm. We had fun. Now it is all in my head.

    And on paper, see my post on Edmund PIckle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story on my blog this week. I just transfered the galley to my thumb drive to look at on my good lap top. Yes, I am dissappointed in this Chromebook. Can't write etc.

    Anyway, so sorry I don't have a PPBF for you today, Susanna! Will do better next week. Enjoy your weekend!! Enjoy your weekend , Friends! 🙂

  4. Clarbojahn says:

    I forgot to say how very loveable this book sounded. I love new books on green ecology and staying green etc. LOVE your great review. 🙂

  5. Teresa Robeson says:

    Hahaha! Sounds like the way we got our “farm,” except we started with the wise hens first. And I can't keep a straight face as I type that since anyone who's ever raise chickens know that “wise” and “chickens” are words that never go together. 😉

    Will need to check out that book to get a good laugh! 😉

    Happy weekend…again….how did a week pass by so fast?

  6. Patricia Tilton says:

    I like the eco-friendly idea of the OLD MCDONALD nursery rhyme. What a fun way to introduce kids to taking care of the earth. Dounds like a gem!
    You know I have wondered about your farm — the funny farm — you put it out there and I think it has many meanings! 🙂
    Happy holiday at Blueberry Hill!

  7. This_Kid_Reviews_Books_Erik says:

    I want to read this book! Great choice! I hope your house is safe from those crazy deer (believe me, you'll need all of the hope you can get! 😉 )! 😉

  8. Kirsten Larson says:

    That is too funny. We have weeds in “the back 40” at our house, and I have often threatened to get a goat. We know a few families who have. I can completely sympathize with this clever book and can't wait to read it. Thanks Susanna!

  9. Carrie Finison says:

    I'm so glad you posted about this book, Susanna. I think Judy Sierra is one of those undersung writers. I haven't heard much about her, but I've liked every book of hers I've read.

  10. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    What a fun book, Susanna! And how awesome to be surrounded by wildlife…inside and out.:) I'm anxious to see what creatures venture into our backyard. In the fall, we had 20 wild turkeys and a deer…but I'm sure, as soon as the lettuce and cabbages are blooming in my garden, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter will show their furry faces. 😉
    I hope everyone will come over to say hello…I was fortunate to get an interview with Australian actor Tim McGarry, who just finished a successful US tour in the Monkey Baa theater production of I AM JACK.

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    We have turkeys, coyotes, black bears, bobcats, deer, owls and hawks of all kinds, snapping turtles, and a thing like a weasel that I can't remember the name of right now… a marten maybe?… or maybe not – but all kinds of wildlife. There are bunnies and groundhogs down the road a bit, but they are way too smart to take up residence in the dog zone 🙂

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Let me know if you get a goat, Kirsten 🙂 I have always had a secret hankering for one! They are so cute and seem so bright and friendly and intelligent… but I've heard they can be a handful 🙂

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know it! I don't have chickens, but someone I know does and they are flat out silly! I don't know where the week disappeared to – I certainly have nothing to show for it! – I guess I'd better buckle down and try to get something done before 5 PM 🙂 Happy weekend to you, Teresa! 🙂

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    No worries, Clar! You are busy with production of your book and lordy, there's just so much to do all the time and only so many hours in the day! Thanks for taking time to stop by and say hi! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I DO have good dogs! They are the very best! Although they do get a little over-excited about the local wildlife daring to set foot on their property! 🙂 I hope you'll get a chance to read this one, Wendy – it's funny 🙂

  16. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Your home sounds like paradise, Susanna! When we lived in CT as our kids were growing up, we always had a dog…so our veggie garden was pretty safe…he was a great parsnip protector. 🙂

  17. Joanna Marple says:

    I had to take a little break after the first paragraph as the excitement was a little too intense for me! This sounds laugh out loud funny, Susanna.

  18. pennyklostermann says:

    Blueberry Hill is hopping! Such a cute photo.

    I read this book a couple of weeks ago…it is really cute!

  19. Tina DC Hayes says:

    Cute picture of that baby deer!
    That book looks like a winner too. I love the idea of taking the familiar 'Old MacDondald' song everyone knows and creating a story that teaches kids about farming and gardening. 🙂

  20. nrhatch says:

    hahaha! It's a good thing your dogs keep one eye open when napping or who know what mischief that fawn would get into on Blueberry Hill.

    Especially if Peter Cottontail hopped onto the scene to join her.

  21. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    One of my favorites was the day when there was a doe at the top of the hill and my dogs at the bottom, all facing each other in a triangle. None of them would turn their back on the others, so they were at a complete stand-off! Who knows how long they would have stayed there if I hadn't lured the Misses Brown back in the house 🙂

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