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!!! 🙂

Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Is For Musk Ox

I would just like to start today by saying that it’s only 15 days until GROUNDHOG DAY (in case anyone besides me and Phyllis is counting :))

illustration copyright Jeffrey Ebbeler 2005

Also, Phyllis’s FB page is feeling unloved (because I never do anything with it :)) so if anyone wants to go chat with her she would love that.  You’re going to have to work hard to beat out Cathy as her number one fan though 🙂  Phyllis says comments on what makes groundhogs lovable would be a good start…  She also loves groundhog jokes, so if you know any, please share 🙂

Okay!  Are you ready for today’s Perfect Picture Book selection?

Given my well-documented love for silly alphabet books and the title of today’s pick, I’m sure you can already tell it’s tons of fun!  Just wait until you hear about it – I DARE you not to go straight to the library! 🙂

A Is For Musk Ox
Written By: Erin Cabatingan
Illustrated By: Matthew Myers
Roaring Book Press, October 2012, Fiction

Suitable For: ages listed variously as Preschool – Grade 4, and ages 5 and up.  I would go with 5 and up – I think some of the humor might fly over the heads of the littlest ones.

Themes/Topics: alphabet, humor, animals (musk oxen), consequences

Opening: (Well, you’ve really got to start with the cover… which he has eaten through! :))  “HEY! Hey you, Musk Ox!  Did you do this?  Did you eat that apple?”
“Who me?  I can’t remember.

Brief Synopsis:  After Joseph the musk ox eats the apple that “a” is supposed to be for, he proceeds to make the entire alphabet be all about him much to Zebra’s annoyance!  But Zebra has the last laugh 🙂

Links To Resources:  Musk Oxen Pictures And Facts, Eco Field Guide – Musk Ox, Musk Ox Print Out, Coloring Page 1, Coloring Page 2

Why I Like This Book:  SO FUNNY!  Every letter is for musk ox except the odd one here and there…  P is for Wolf, T is for headache, (you’ll just have to read it to follow that logic!) and my favorite, M is for apple… because he feels bad about eating it at the beginning 🙂  Musk ox is just a bit pushy in his insistence, and in the end gets his comeuppance, which is just a bit fair 🙂  This book may not be terribly helpful in teaching the alphabet, but it’s sure to tickle the funny bone.  The art is particularly hilarious.

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

Now then, please don’t keel over with shock, but that is the end of today’s post.  I KNOW!  So brief!  But the truth is, I’m under the gun to get all the details squared away for my new writing course after the announcement leaked out a little ahead of schedule last week – nose to the grindstone and all that – and you know how me and technology get along… we DON’T… so enough said!  Wish me luck with my email template!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And PPBF bloggers, please put your post-specific links in the list below – I can’t wait to see what you picked this week!