Dawn Publications
Jo MacDonald Had a Garden
Jo MacDonald Had a Garden
Click the cover to look inside!
Author: Mary Quattlebaum
Illustrator: Laura J. Bryant

Retail Price: Paperback • $8.95 | Board Book • $7.95
Web Special: Paperback • $8.05 | Board Book • $7.15

Old MacDonald had a … garden? Yes! Sing along with young Jo MacDonald as she grows healthy food for people and wild creatures. E-I-E-I-O! Find out how butterflies, bumblebees, and birds help a garden to thrive – and how you can help them too. And keep an eye on one mysterious plant. What will it become? Youngsters learn about garden ecosystems and stewardship through this playful adaptation of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

Educators: download free activities based on this book on our activities page.

Order Jo MacDonald Had a Garden

Book Details

  • 2012 Purple Dragon Book Award – 1st Place (Children’s Picture Book – Ages 5-)
  • 2012 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Finalist (Children’s Picture Book Category)

“Quattlebaum and Bryant follow up their successful Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond (2011) with new lyrics to the same song, while keeping the nature focus.

This time, Jo MacDonald and her cousin Mike make a garden. From digging the earth and planting the seeds, to watering, harvesting and enjoying the “fruits” of their labors, the two care for their garden habitat and the animals that visit it. Readers can tend their own imaginary gardens along with the pair, as the illustrations and text suggest motions to accompany the familiar tune. Careful observers can track the new plants and animals that arrive with each page turn and read more about them in the backmatter, which also includes some garden facts and tips, comprehension questions, activity extension ideas and a list of resources for gardening information specifically geared toward children. Bryant’s watercolors reflect a childlike enthusiasm. . . This is likely to be a popular spring and garden story time choice. Get out the seed catalogs.”

Kirkus Reviews (January 4, 2012)

“To the reworking of the familiar song, the author has brought the four seasons of a garden to life. Jo, the redheaded granddaughter of Old MacDonald, and her friend Mike enjoy the outdoors and the work of planting a wildlife-friendly garden. The dirt flies from the shovel “with a dig-dig here, and a dig-dig there,” and the kids flap their arms like a bird’s wings, “with a flit-flit here, and a flit-flit there.” The observant eye will find seven wild creatures enjoying the garden, and careful readers will read the plant labels and find the seven that are featured. Two concluding pages identify the flora and fauna and suggest relevant indoor activities, such as drawing a picture of the sunflower, planting a seed, and naming the four vegetables Jo and Mike planted. Pretty to look at, easy to sing along to, and a nice introduction to wildlife-habitat creation.”

School Library Journal (June 2012)

“In the second book of the Jo MacDonald series, Old MacDonald’s granddaughter Jo and her cousin Mike plant and tend a vegetable garden. Adapting the familiar E-I-E-I-O song to the new theme, Quattlebaum’s rhyming verses lend themselves to sing-along sessions. Endearing ink-and-watercolor illustrations show the garden’s progress as Jo and Mike dig, plant, water, and, finally, pick tomatoes and squash. Meanwhile, seven critters arrive to share the garden. Discussing the plants and animals illustrated and suggesting outdoor activities related to gardens, the informative back matter rounds out this amiable picture book.”

Booklist (American Library Assn.) (May 2012)

[Read more reviews ]