EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (with a Little Help from a Hen)

EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (with a Little Help from a Hen), written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Matthew Myers, is a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

EIEIO is a new take on an old favorite. Many kids may know the tale of Old MacDonald and his farm, but how did he get that farm in the first place?

As it turns out, it all started because Old MacDonald didn’t like to mow the lawn. First he got a goat to help him out, but that didn’t totally solve his problems. Luckily, things started to change with the help of Little Red Hen, a brilliant bird who knew a little something about ecology.

Old MacDonald and his hen began to transform the yard, but it wasn’t a pretty process! It involved hard work, mud, trash, poop, worms, and, finally, lots of seeds. Those seeds, planted in raised beds, eventually grew into vegetables that Old MacDonald enjoyed and shared with his neighbors. What began as a simple lawn turned into a wonderful organic garden!


EIEIO is a good book for introducing the concept of plant ecology and organic gardening to young readers in a fun and familiar way. I can see it being an especially great read-aloud in the spring, when many gardens are being planted, or as part of Earth Day celebrations.

Feel free to use the book trailer below if you’d like to promote this book in your classroom or library!

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