Home School Book Review
, October 05, 2011
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Did you know that Old MacDonald, who “had a farm,” also had a granddaughter? When Jo MacDonald visits her grandfather’s farm, she sees a pond, “E-I-E-I-O.” What does she find there? She hears cattail reeds swishing, bluegill fish blurping, a bullfrog croaking, mallard ducks quacking, a red-winged blackbird screeing, a raccoon chatting, a white-tailed deer flicking its tail, and a green darner dragonfly whirring. Can you guess what one of the fish might try to do when it sees the dragonfly?
The classic children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” has helped generations of children learn about animals on a farm. Now his granddaughter, Jo MacDonald, uses the same tune to encourage youngsters to discover all the interesting plants and animals around the farm’s pond. Author Mary Quattlebaum grew up in the country surrounded by woods, fields, and a pond just like Jo MacDonald’s. Her text will engage little ones’ ears with rhythm, repetition, wordplay, and onomatopoeia, and illustrator Laura Bryant’s lively watercolors of the pond community, along with Jo, the plants, and the animals, will charm their eyes.
From an educational standpoint, the book introduces the concept of ecosystems. Endnotes feature a color and matching activity, further information about the plants and animals in the pond ecosystem, resources on how to learn more about ponds, and suggestions for becoming a naturalist like Jo. More downloadable indoor and outdoor activities for children using this book may be found at the publisher’s website. Children are very curious about the natural world, so they’re invited to come along with Jo MacDonald, and Grandpa, to learn about the wild creatures at the pond on the farm, including fish, frogs, ducks, and a few surprises too!