Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond

Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond

5.0 4
by Mary Quattlebaum, Laura J. Bryant
     
 

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Old MacDonald had a . . . pond? Yes! Come along with Jo, Old MacDonald's granddaughter, and learn about the wild creatures at the pond. You'll find fish, frogs, ducks - and a few surprises. This delightful variation on "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" playfully introduces youngsters to the concept of ecosystems. Author Mary Quattlebaum engages little ones with rhythm,

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Overview

Old MacDonald had a . . . pond? Yes! Come along with Jo, Old MacDonald's granddaughter, and learn about the wild creatures at the pond. You'll find fish, frogs, ducks - and a few surprises. This delightful variation on "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" playfully introduces youngsters to the concept of ecosystems. Author Mary Quattlebaum engages little ones with rhythm, repetition, wordplay, and onomatopoeia and illustrator Laura Bryant charms them with lively watercolors of a pond community.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this inventive twist on "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," Jo visits a nearby pond with her sketch pad and observes reeds, bullfrogs, raccoons, deer, blackbirds, and fish. The rhyming lyrics are in sync with the story/song and emulate it almost perfectly. For example, when the child discovers the raccoon, the text sings: "With a chat-chat here/And a chat-chat there./Here a chat, there a chat,/Everywhere a chat-chat/Jo MacDonald saw a raccoon, E-I-E-I-O." However, the inclusion of raccoon and dragonfly make the rhyme feel a bit forced. The spreads are done in breezy hues of watercolors, with plenty of white space accentuating life on and around the pond. The final one encourages children to match pictures of the animals with the sounds they make. Back matter describes the pond community and shares some "Citizen-Scientist" websites. Although an additional purchase, this title would work one-on-one or for sharing with a group.—Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY
Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
Every once in awhile, a picture book is the perfect marriage of text and art; the art, design, and layout of this new vision of the familiar childhood song is a lovely example. Observant readers will be clued-in from the front cover that there are a lot of things to watch for as the pages reveal Jo's afternoon at the pond. Prepared with her sketchbook, she is seen dashing down to the pond on the double-page spread with the bibliographic information. Beginning with reeds that "swish-swish here" (and "there"), the reader is treated to the appearance of the pond's inhabitants one by one, as they are spotted and then drawn by Jo, who is obviously fascinated by nature. The text is full of wonderfully descriptive sounds that match each animal—children will love to echo the "scree-scree" of the red-winged blackbird, "chat-chat" of the raccoon, "flick-flick" of the white-tailed deer, and the "whir-whir" of the dragonfly that flits across the beautiful watercolors. Bryant's visual additions expand the storyline by revealing Jo's experiences as the story-song progresses, allowing the reader to make many "hidden" discoveries and immerse themselves in the pond microcosm. Readers will anticipate and predict which creature will be introduced next; even younger readers can be encouraged to do so. Here, Bryant is simply brilliant with the small glimpses that she "sneaks" onto the right-hand page, creating giddy drama as the page is turned to spotlight a specific animal. My favorite spread shows a close call for the dragonfly—there are fish in MacDonald's pond! Topping off all of this charm is an activity in the back which encourages readers to match fabulous sounds to their makers. Backmatter also includes other activities for children of different ages, as well as an educational section that discusses the "Pond Community." Lists of books and websites are also included to round out this valuable contribution to classrooms, libraries, and homes. This book is perfect for sharing nature (science and ecology) with children in a "most natural" way. It is positively perfect for read aloud sessions and a delight to share with a youngster one-on-one. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan
Kirkus Reviews - Kirkus Reviews

A sing-along inspired by the sights and sounds of a pond.

When Jo visits her grandfather's farm, she observes the plants and animals she finds by the pond, sketching them so she can share them with Old MacDonald later. She first notices the reeds, and the sound they make: "Jo MacDonald saw a pond, / E-I-E-I-O. / And in that pond she saw some reeds, / E-I-E-I-O. / With a swish-swish here...." The familiar tune starts on page one and never misses a beat, begging kids to participate. Indeed, the rollicking atmosphere during a sharing of this book will likely be in marked contrast to what is happening inside it. As Jo settles in to watch, her quietness and stillness pay off as some animals gradually emerge: fish, frogs, ducks, a bird, a few coons, some deer and a dragonfly. Backmatter includes Jo's final sketch (delightfully childlike) as well a paragraph about each animal, a list of books about ponds and some activities that can help youngsters be a naturalist like Jo. Observant readers will notice the clever design of the illustrations that hides the last-mentioned animal and the next one within the spread. Bryant's softly colored watercolor creatures echo Jo's rosy-cheeked childhood innocence and have just a touch of expression in their faces.

Sure to inspire a rousing storytime, this is also likely to encourage readers to explore the world around them. (Picture book. 3-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584691518
Publisher:
Dawn Publications
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Series:
Jo MacDonald Series
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,397,349
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.15(d)
Lexile:
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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