A clever new spin on "Old MacDonald," this fun book explores the popular trend of urban farming. From rooftop farms and gardens on Manhattan high rises to neighborhood gardens in empty lots in Atlanta to hydroponic gardens in Seattle, growing food locally has become an important part of city-dwelling life.
Set to the tune of the popular children's song, this bouncy rhyming text will get everyone reading (or singing) out loud. If you're not comfortable singing aloud, download the free recording of the song created by popular children's performer Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew, lead singer and songwriter for the band The Presidents of the United States of America). Six North American cities are highlighted, but included in the back matter are tips and tricks on how to alter the text so you can sing about your own hometown gardens.
Back matter also includes more information about the different types of gardens introduced, additional resources, and the sheet music for the song.
Lendroth (Calico Dorsey) commandeers a classic nursery rhyme and moves its agricultural subject matter into the city, allowing readers to literally sing the praises of urban farming efforts in New York City, Atlanta, Toronto, and other locations with an "E-I-E-I-grow!" Working in a vibrant palette of acrylics, Endle (My Woodland Wish) paints active scenes of children and adults planting seedlings on rooftop farms and once-empty lots, stringing up dried herbs, and tending to beehives. Thick black outlines and the characters' ovoid heads give the scenes an almost coloring-book feel; ringers for Michelle Obama and Bo can be spotted as readers travel to Washington, D.C., to check out compost bins at the White House. Lendroth's lyrics create a few tongue-twisting moments ("With a heat lamp here,/ hydroponics there / arugula, radicchio,/ salad greens are great to grow"), but it's easy to get into the enthusiastic fun of this adaptation. Resources provided in endnotes underscore the idea that "Anyone can start a farm." The song is also available for free download, performed by children's musician Caspar Bossypants. Ages 3 7. Author's agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary.