#531 – E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers

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EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen

by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers, illustrator

Candlewick Press      2/25/2014top 10 use eb trans

978-0-7636-6043-7

Age 4 to 8     32 pages

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“Once upon a time, Old MacDonald didn’t have a farm. He just had a yard—a yard he didn’t want to mow. But then, under the direction of the wise (and ecologically sensitive) Little Red Hen, Mac learns to look at the environment in a very different way, and whole new worlds start to bloom.”

Opening

“Old MacDonald had a house, E-I-E-I-O!”

The Story

Old MacDonald had a house with a big backyard he didn’t like to mow. In fact, he waited so long to mow it that Old MacDonald would sweat after just a short push of his power mower. There had to be a better way. So Old MacDonald got a goat. E-I-E-I-O! There were problems with the goat. MacDonald knew there had to be a better way, so he searched the Internet for help. He got that help from the Little Red Hen, the smartest hen in the world. But could she help Old MacDonald with his backyard lawn mowing aversion?

Review

A fun story that will have kids and adults laughing from the beginning, E-I-E-I-O puts Old MacDonald in the middle of suburbia. He has a house with a large backyard and Old MacDonald doesn’t like to mow. He gets a goat but the goat eats the hedges, putting a window between MacDonald and his neighbor. But MacDonald’s real trouble—and fame—doesn’t begin until he hires the Little Red Hen. I love bringing in a character from another story. It adds more flavor to the story and most kids will instantly recognize the Little Red Hen. Plus, this wise hen has an agricultural diploma—perfect for Old MacDonald.

First, Little Red Hen gets rid of the grass. At first, I didn’t get what she was doing—nor will most kids—but soon it became clear. Until that could happen, the neighbors join and form a protest, insisting, as one sign put it, “A LAWN in every YARD.” I love the signs. One says the neighbors formed a mud watch group. But the sign stating, “Change is BAD” pretty much sums up the problem: no one like change. Though there is one little guy who may like change. His sign says, “No More Mud,” but he put a line through one of those words. Not until Old MacDonald has a workable farm, producing organic veggies, does the neighborhood change their feelings toward the smell of Old MacDonald’s backyard farm.

The illustrations are fantastic. They tell the story as well as the text tells it. The details are terrific and sometimes surprising, but you must look carefully to appreciate all the effort that went into these spreads. Colorful, informative, and humorous are but three words that immediately come to mind when looking at E-I-E-I-O. I love the part when Little Red Hen has Old MacDonald throw his trash onto his backyard, well, actually, his back-mud. Old MacDonald looks like he has given up when he tosses his corncob out the window onto his back-mud.

Kids inherently think the word “poop” is funny. Well, Little Red Hen cannot make her compost without it, or worms, so kids will love these spreads. Of course, Little Red Hen stays out of the muck, calling directions out from atop her hen house. Yes, she is one wise hen. Eventually, Old MacDonald gains the neighbors’ favor and a new career in one of the most entertaining, yet informative, picture books this year.

E-I-E-I-O HOW OLD MACDONALD GOT HIS FARMText copyright © 2014 by Judy Sierra. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Matthew Myers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

E-I-E-I-O- POSTER

Learn more about E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen HERE.

Get your copy of E-I-E-I-O at AmazonB&NCandlewick Pressyour local bookstore.

.Meet the author, Judy Sierra at her website:   http://www.judysierra.net/

Meet the illustrator, Matthew Myers at his website:  http://www.myerspaints.com/

Find other great books at Candlewick Press’ website:   http://www.candlewick.com/

Also by Judy Sierra

Wild About You!

Wild About You!

ZooZical  

ZooZical

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur

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Also by Matthew Myers 

Battle Bunny

Battle Bunny

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind  

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind

The World According to Musk Ox  9/2014  

The World According to Musk Ox  9/2014

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.New from Candlewick Press

Ocean Creatures: A 3D Pocket Guide

Ocean Creatures: A 3D Pocket Guide

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties  

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation

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eieio how old macdonald got his farm

16 thoughts on “#531 – E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers

  1. What a great premise! And those illustrations–Changed my perspective of Old MacDonald, that’s for sure! Thanks for sharing, Sue!

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  2. oh mygosh, this looks super cute Sue!! I am definitely getting this one for a read aloud the kids are going to be laughing at this one!! Thanks for sharing on Kidlit Bloghop!
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks

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  3. Thanks. I checked out Battle Bunny, how wonderful an idea–and to write two stories, one a top the other is fantastic! I’m still working on getting just one. haha Judy Sierra has had great illustrators? I’ll go check it out again. You have me so interested in illustrators. E-I-E-I-O is good candidate for best of year . (and at KLR, too!)

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  4. What a great interpretation of the well known nursery rhyme. The illustrations look vibrant and incredibly detailed. Looks like a story that parents and kids will all enjoy. Thank you for a great review.

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  5. This sounds UDDERLY delightful! I wouldn’t expect anything but brilliance from this author and illustrator! Glad to see you got rid of the yuckies and you’re back at it, Sue! Great review!

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    • “Udderly?” You crack me up. I love it. Thanks Lobo, it is nice to be back. So you know about both the author and illustrator? Well, after this book I agree an will be on the look out for more from them. OH, hey! This must have reminded you of your time on the farm! Lobo Visits the Farm

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    • I bet it was. Did the kids get into a spirited round of the song? This is one of those books that jumped out at me when it arrived. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I would have loved to see the kids reactions.

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      • I refrained from trying to sing it, as not only does most of the book not scan, but my throat was giving me trouble.

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        • I’m not sure what you mean by “most of the book not scan,” but what I meant was the song immediately came to mind. I hope you feel better. Take care of your throat. 🙂

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  6. Wow, Sue, as soon as I saw the cover image, I was drawn to this. THEN, when I noticed it was illustrated by the AMAZING Matthew Myers, I wasn’t surprised! There’s no way I wouldn’t pick this book from a shelf. The premise sounds really funny, too, so he was the perfect pick for Judy Sierra’s story, and in looking at her site, she’s had some of the BEST illustrators for her books! How lucky! How wonderful 😀

    And I just HAVE to mention that BATTLE BUNNY is incredibly brilliant. For the authors AND illustrator—what a feat to accomplish! Two books in one—text AND art as overlays! Amazing! 😀

    Nice review, Sue 😀

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