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:


Yes.  A squirrel.  Clearly a Maximum Security Threat.

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 critter could use a mouthful of birdseed.  So he 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 it snowed last night, I insist on believing spring  is coming, 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 we’re-using-this-linky-list-for-the-time-being-until-I-think-of-something-better list below so we can all come see what fabulous books you’ve chosen this week!

And everyone: whether you have a book to add to the list or not, you must click the “click here” link to see the list!!!

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Have a great weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

21 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. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Fun book to read, and I love how it is set in an unexpected environment. And squirrels? They can sound like an invasion when they clamber all over your house!
    I added some PPBF links – but I guess this new format doesn’t show them on the blog post? I was hoping for some quick & easy way to click on to other PPBF reviews.

  2. viviankirkfield says:

    I LOVE this book, Susanna…and I think it is a great example (and maybe a great mentor text) for those of us who want to learn to add important layers/hooks to our picture book manuscripts. How clever – the tried and true Old MacDonald with composting and growing a garden information. 😉

    Susanna…I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve taken a page from your writing contest book…I’ve put up a challenge to write a children’s story in…wait for it…only 50 words. I can’t wait to see what happens. Hopefully, at least a couple of brave souls will throw their hat, and entry, into the ring. 😉

  3. ptnozell says:

    Lovely pick for what I hope will be spring soon. And happy to learn that the score is squirrel won, dogs none – the Two Orange Pups love to chase them, too.

  4. Angela Brown says:

    Perhaps the squirrel just needed a proper reminder that it could go no further in breaching the property 🙂

    And this picture book sounds interesting. Always nice to see the different ways old stories can be tricked out with some new perspective.

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