Monday, October 2, 2017

Old MacDonald Had a ...Zoo?

Old MacDonald Had a ...Zoo?
told and illustrated by Iza Trapani
2017 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Old MacDonald in the sty, E-I-E-I-O,
Saw a kangaroo hop by, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald was having a typical day. Milking a cow. Feeding the pig. Getting splashed with mud by a kangaroo. E-I-E-I-Whoa! That's not typical. It seems the farmer has a few visitors. Going to the hose to clean up, he finds an elephant taking a drink from the trough. "Everywhere a squirt squirt" finds Old Mac doused with water. Moving on with his chores, he hears crunching in the barn. What could it be? Zebras finding hay on the menu. A fox in the hen house would disastrous, but monkeys? Eggs splatter on the ground. Picking beans is usually a quiet duty. But when a crocodile intervenes, it's every man and beast for himself. This is the last straw. With a loud stomp on the barn floor, Old MacDonald has his E-I-E-I-No moment. With some rope and a trailer hitched to his red truck, this old man doesn't go rolling home, but instead returns the visitors to their home at the zoo. On the last page, there's lyrics and sheet music that would make for a week's worth of uproarious shared reading.

There are a lot of possibilities for classroom use with this book. Want a fun activity that connects to phonemic awareness? Have students guess the last word in a two line stanza.

Old MacDonald heard a crunch, E-I-E-I-O. 
Zebras helped themselves to _____, E-I-E-I-O. 

How about contrasting farm animals with zoo animals? What's different? What's the same? Or you could contrast Old MacDonald with another book like Goodnight Gorilla. You could also read the book to older students for a mini-lesson on using vivid verbs in writing. The fun will E-I-E-I-Flow with this lively twist on a traditional nursery rhyme.

1 comment:

  1. E-I-E-I-Oh! How I love your review! Thank you so much, Jeff. And I love the classroom activities you've come up with. It's clear you are a wonderful teacher! Many, many thanks, Iza

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