Oct 11, 2014

E-I-E-I-O How Old MacDonald Got His Farm

by Judy Sierra

A man named MacDonald bemoans the effort it takes to mow his lawn. He decides to get a goat to eat the grass, then buys a chicken (online!) The chicken it turns out, is knowledgeable and can talk. She teaches MacDonald how to smother his lawn with layers of newspapers, feed the soil with kitchen scraps and make a worm compost bin. Then they plant seeds and soon MacDonald has so much produce he starts selling it from a mobile cart (built atop his old lawnmower!) Some of his neighbors complain about the smell and changes, but most seem pleased to enjoy the fresh produce plus cheese from his goat, eggs from his hen, even honey from some bees. I don't know if I'd ever just throw vegetable waste and horse manure all over the ground like this book portrays, and the guy sure looks tired and confused through the whole process of converting lawn into garden, but the end result is so nice. My favorite picture is the one that shows bright vegetables growing, the root shapes with happy-looking worms around them underground. My three-year-old likes the last two pages, where she tries to point out and name all the plants, vegetables and things shown growing in the garden and spread out for sale around MacDonald's produce cart. The illustrations by Matthew Myers are vivid, funky and fun. Nice bold brushstrokes.

Rating: 4/5      32 pages, 2014

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