Sue MacDonald Had a Book

( 1 )

Overview

What would you do if a bunch of letters jumped right off the page while you were reading a book? Run after them, of course. Join Sue MacDonald as she travels from a railroad station to a sewer to a mountain peak and more, all in an attempt to capture her renegade vowels. Reading a book has never been so interactive!

Jim Tobin’s clever text—based on a favorite children’s song—is perfectly coupled with Dave Coverly’s winning illustrations. Get ...

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Overview

What would you do if a bunch of letters jumped right off the page while you were reading a book? Run after them, of course. Join Sue MacDonald as she travels from a railroad station to a sewer to a mountain peak and more, all in an attempt to capture her renegade vowels. Reading a book has never been so interactive!

Jim Tobin’s clever text—based on a favorite children’s song—is perfectly coupled with Dave Coverly’s winning illustrations. Get ready for a madcap adventure starring five very important letters.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Sue MacDonald Had a Book:

“The ink-and-watercolor pictures will hook kids with the adventure scenarios, the warm feelings, and the simple, chanting text, which includes a question-answer refrain. An obvious choice for classroom sharing, this will make an energetic read-aloud in any setting.”—Booklist

"The cartoony illustrations and smart verse make for an engaging read-aloud—or sing-along."—Publishers Weekly

“This lively grammar-related adventure is a sing-along…done in vivid colors, the ink-and-watercolor illustrations feature high-energy cartoon figures…This educational romp…is a strong choice for classroom and library collections.”—School Library Journal

“A fun-filled way to introduce and emphasize vowel sounds, this is particularly well-suited for use in the classroom or for a parent/child sing-along.”—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Piggybacking this story-in-verse onto "Old McDonald" works surprisingly well in this children's book debut for Tobin and Coverly. "Sue MacDonald had a book./ A E I O U/ The words made sense last time she looked./ A E I O U." The ponytailed schoolgirl spends the book chasing down the mischievous vowels that have escaped from her book, rendering it unreadable (the gesture toward educational content ends here-the rest is all hijinks). Cartoonist Coverly draws the vowels with Krazy Kat noses, googly eyes and miniature hands and feet. Ink and watercolor spreads alternate with vignettes, and the pace never flags. Sue's dramatic captures give her temporary superhero status: she swings through the trees, hitches a ride in a balloon and tracks through the sewer. As she pursues each vowel, Tobin adeptly highlights the letter in question in the accompanying text (as Sue rescues the "I" from an encounter with thugs in a skyscraper: "Scary climb/ nick of time,/ saved him from a life of crime"). The cartoony illustrations and smart verse make for an engaging read-aloud-or sing-along. Ages 4-7. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Joan Elste
Sue MacDonald has her hands full, or rather, had her hands full before all the vowels in the book she's reading decide to hop off the pages and run away. What is there to do when something like that happens? Why, chase after them, what else? This book makes it easy for kids to put the words on the pages into the familiar song, "Old MacDonald had a farm," making it fun to read and learn vowels at the same time. Clever cartoon illustrations bring Sue to life as she chases, catches, and even reprimands each vowel and then places them in her backpack. From a train in Maine to Katmandu, there is never a dull moment as Sue defies all odds to capture her vowels. The ending is wonderful with AEIOU returned to her book pages and Y peeking around the corner asking, "HEY! What about me?" Nicely designed and cleverly done, this book is a winner for kids learning their vowels. Reviewer: Joan Elste
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

This lively grammar-related adventure is a sing-along to the tune of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" with the repeated refrain, "AEIOU." Sue MacDonald has a book called My Farm by O. MacDonald but can no longer read it after the vowels escape. The girl pursues A on a train that goes to Maine, captures E "sleeping in a tree," saves I from some bad guys and "a life of crime," and fishes O out of a sewer "where the microbes grow." She tucks the letters safely into her backpack and looks for U. After traveling "from Kansas U...to Katmandu," Sue discovers that the vowel has been in her shorts pocket the entire time. With the vowels back in her book, she is able to sound out the words. Done in vivid colors, the ink-and-watercolor illustrations feature high-energy cartoon figures. Each vowel's adventure highlights that letter's long and short sounds (e.g., I is saved in the "Nick of time"), making this book a boon to reading teachers. This educational romp, reminiscent of Robin Pulver's Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day (Holiday House, 2006), is a strong choice for classroom and library collections.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN

Kirkus Reviews
Set to the tune of "Old MacDonald," this tale of adventuresome vowels begins with a girl and her book. "The words made sense last time she looked. AEIOU." One by one the vowels disappear, and it's up to Sue to bring them back. As she searches for and finds each vowel, the text follows the structure of the song and cleverly emphasizes each sound; for example, A takes a train to Maine, Sue saves E on a trapeze, with ease, and I is-where else?-in the sky. Coverly's cartoon-like illustrations complement the text nicely, showing Sue rescuing each vowel with panache, whether underwater, in the jungle or on the top of a skyscraper. While some of the vocabulary may be unfamiliar-children learning about vowels will likely be unfamiliar with microbes or Katmandu-the energy of the song will carry young listeners through. A fun-filled way to introduce and emphasize vowel sounds, this is particularly well-suited for use in the classroom or for a parent/child sing-along. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Jim Tobin's sing-along vowel adventure (Holt, 2009) to the tune of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" is introduced with a short interview with the author and the illustrator. Sue is reading a book, My Farm by O. MacDonald, when all the vowels escape. Each subsequent verse of the song tells how she recaptures the errant vowels. The main rhyming words of each verse contain the featured vowel sound, so that Sue rides a train when searching for the "A," uses a net to capture the "E" while "sleeping in a tree," saves "I" from a "life of crime," and so on. It is a good device, but in a few instances, the author takes artistic license to relate the vowel sound to a word. David Coverly's vivid ink-and-watercolor illustrations are scanned with some simple animation. The catchy tune and the colorful illustrations make this a memorable introduction to vowels and a good choice for library and classroom collections.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805087666
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 7/21/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 984,085
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

JIM TOBIN is an award-winning biographer and the author of Ernie Pyle’s War and To Conquer the Air. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

DAVE COVERLY is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose Speed Bump cartoons appear in more than 200 newspapers, including The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and Parade magazine. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 7, 2011

    Great book!

    My son loves this book. He could say "A E I O U" before nearly anything else!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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