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Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House
Old MacDonald had a farm ... in an apartment house in the middle of the city. As the tenants move out, Old MacDonald (the building's Super) moves cabbages and carrots, mushrooms and corn, cows and chickens into the bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and closets. The farm grows by bushels, and everything is fine -- until the day Fat Mr. Wrental, the owner, comes by to collect t ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 2nd 2005 by Atheneum Books
(first published January 1st 1969)
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Sure, it's a fantasy. But it's also a fable. And it's funny. And it *is* possible to grow herbs, at least, in an apartment. And it *is* possible to find a building owner willing to think outside the box and solve problems. I will look for the other more obscure titles by this team when I visit little old libraries and small town thrift stores.
From the author-illustrator team that gave us Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs comes this twist on the classic "Old MacDonald had a farm" two-step. Rather than go through all the animals on MacDonald's farm, it is far more amusing to watch him turn a city apartment building into a garden and live stock pen. This comes at the cost of tentants and almost Old MacDonald's job, but lucky for him, vegetables can pay rent too. This is so adorable, and the illustrations top-notch.
The Barretts are better known for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, but I think this lesser-known opus is the superior work. It does stretch credulity a bit. My father, a plant pathologist who was raised on a farm, used to go to great lengths to explain to us exactly WHY one could not turn an apartment building into a farm, the way Old MacDonald does in this book. I didn't care; it doesn't matter. This is a parable about nature and the city finding ways to accommodate each other, soft-hearted g ...more
I took the average of my rating and my four year old's rating. I'd give it three stars and I think he'd give it five, partly because he is currently obsessed with learning about apartment buildings. This was written in 1969 and is intended to be silly but it has present-day relevance as well, with the focus on eating locally grown vegetables.
This nonsensical tale of an apartment manager Old MacDonald and his garden that went astray is cute, funny, and beautifully illustrated. The only warning for parents is to keep the crayons hidden away if you get this from the library as the delightful black and white illustrations long to be colored. As an adult I was even tempted! Bravo!
Cute story about Old MacDonald as the Super of an apartment building. As his tenants move out, he uses their old apartments to plant vegetables. Great use of imagination as the carrots grow down through the ceiling of the apartment below, etc…
Judi Barrett is the author of many well-loved books for children, including Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Pickles to Pittsburgh, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing, and Things That Are Most in the World. She teaches art to kindergarten students at a school in her Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood. And she usually doesn't mind going to the dentist!More about Judi Barrett...