1.10.2011

Farm City: Old MacDonald Had an Aparment House

Old Macdonald Had An Apartment HouseMom says:
Despite the title, this is not a version of the familiar song. In Judi Barrett's Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House, the titular character is the super of a building. When his wife's tomato plant droops due to lack of sunlight in their tiny kitchen, Old MacDonald takes it upon himself to chop down the hedge blocking the light. Encouraged by the results of his ingenuity, the super decides the courtyard would be better as a vegetable garden. As tenants begin to move out, he takes over their apartments for gardens one by one so that the remaining residents find sweet potato vines in their faucets hear cows mooing through the walls.  A much as I would personally love to have a flock of chickens, I think I will leave Old MacDonald's methods to the imagination of picture book creators and stick to the farmer's market. As the hilarity continues, the owner of the building finally shows up, and is understandably upset. However, this being a children's book, slum landlords are always redeemable and the urban farm is saved, so that even city dwellers can now have fresh produce in winter.

In light of the recent urban farming movement, this book, originally written in 1969, takes on a whole new relevancy. It was fun to use this book as a way to discuss where the food we buy comes from and how we can grow our own food without upsetting our neighbors. As as you can see from the cover, there's a bit of a nod to the American Gothic, as well.

Big Kid says: That is crazy. I don't want a cow in my apartment!

4 comments:

Lindsay N. Currie said...

WHat an interesting book! Actually, my kids would enjoy it because we live in the middle of a large city and have an organic garden growing on our rooftop:) Nice review of a unique book

BookBlogFun said...

Wow, I can't believe that you are talking about this book. This was one of my favorite books when I was little. I remember reading it on my own and it had to be before second grade. I remember thinking it was so funny!

~ Lauri Chandler
www.bookblogfun.doodlekit.com

Raising a Happy Child said...

I liked the cover - sounds like a pretty fascinating book. By the way - Madlenka was a big hit!

Even in Australia said...

This sounds great!

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