Old Macdonald had a farm - e-i-e-i-o ..." Everyone knows the song. But now the farm and animals are in New Zealand and old Macdonald has a Swanndri and gumboots. Donovan Bixley's illustrations depict the beautiful New Zealand landscape - with farm animals! But what are those crazy animals up to?
This was a beautiful gift given to our son for his 1st birthday by his amazing Porse educator., I guess its one of those "special and thoughtful gifts" that you hope will get passed on, as its so much more than just "Old MacDonalds Farm".
We love that this is a real "Kiwi" take on one of the real classics that we have all grown up with, and is definitely a go to at bed time in our house. It evokes so many amazing scenes as we sit on the bed reading this with our 3.5 year old - he loves to call out the noises in his loudest possible voice, I'm sure scaring our own animals into hiding. And has also been known to jump off his bed to mimic their actions on his bedroom floor.
Add to this the absolutely gorgeous illustrations that just ties in so nicely with the story and again the twist on each of the animals has always meant a chuckle or funny moment from our son. He is particularly fond of the cow I think because its his favorite "noise to make", but we always laugh at the black cat who reminds us so much of our own cat Diesil who recently passed away - it has kept his memory alive for us which has been a really lovely and unexpected bonus.
This is one of those books that have bought us so many memories already, and I know will continue to do so for many more bedtimes to come.
My daughter recently got this book, Old MacDonald's Farm, for her birthday in board book form. I was thrilled as I love Donovan Bixley's artwork. I was keen as to get my hands on the book and have a good look. However, my daughter had different ideas. She hogged it for about half an hour, pouring through the pages and ohhhing and ahhing. Whenever I came over to see or asked to look, she made a big show of not letting me anywhere near it.
Finally when she was finished p[ointing out all the animals, or finding all the noses on the pigs she decided I could read it. So she let me read the first page once, twice, three times. She thought it was hilarious, shutting the book on me and asking me "again". Lucky for her I am patient. Eventually we read the book. The words are nice and traditional and easy to sing or talk your way through.
What makes the book is Bixley's drawings. The animals are great and full of character. We had a laugh at all the antics. My favourite was probably the pigs and their spa treatment, but the little black sheep's haircuts were great and the dog baking was cool too. There is a nod to Country Calendar and to a few other kiwi icons as well.
There is also an eye spy game throughout looking for a magpie. That was fun and also a bit hard in places. Good to allow the book to be re-readable for years to come! The board book is a good size and really sturdy. I'm not sure on the price because it was a gift, but I would absolutely buy this as a gift for another child. It has been a huge hit with my daughter.
I am sure everyone knows the Old MacDonald story - but what is great about this book is its completely "Kiwiana".
The graphics in this book are absolutely fantastic! There are only four animals in the book a Cat, Dog, Sheep and Cow and each page you need to locate the Magpie. Also in the front of the book it tells you other items that you can find (unfortunately it does not tell you what page to find them on which can be frustrating for the younger kids.)
I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book to my two children they love it. My eldest daughter now reads/sings it to her baby sister and she spends ages just looking at the pictures and pointing things out which I think is fantastic. I especially love the picture of the kitchen with the fridge which has Pavlova, L & P, Tomato Sauce, Just Juice - great for playing eye spy with - even has the iconic Bumblebee.
I would have liked it to be longer but with all the activities you can play with this book it makes up for it. If you play an instrument there is the sheet music for you as well. A must for every household.
This book couldn't get more kiwi if it tried. It's a classic story/song that will live on forever and keep entertaining many more generations of kiwi's to come. I love all the illustrations!! I love the kiwi icons on every page.....black stubby shorts paired with the black singlet...typical kiwi farmer attire. Pavlova!! L&P!! Swanndri, the old rusty cars and tractor left to rust in a paddock.
Songs and stories that we all grow up with that our mums and dads read to us that we are now reading to the next generation, that they will read to their children and grandchildren. A catchy sing along song that encourages the children's imaginations, and emerging verbal communication skills as they sing along or call out the different farm animals on Old Macdonalds farm. A book that encourages interactions and participation as everyone joins in to sing the song.
The chunky hard cover pages makes this book ideal for babies through to young children or even adults...a book that will survive being read over and over and over. Totally recommend to everyone that lives in New Zealand that wants to own a slice of real kiwiana...also ideal as presents for children or even adults that live overseas as a parting gift so they can read through the book and remember the good times of growing up in New Zealand.
This is another fantastic book by Donovan Bixley... I have owned the Wheels on the Bus version for a good year or so now when i discovered this on the shelf i didn't even open it to look at it, just went ahead and brought it. Again, its a song most children grow up knowing but this book version is totally New Zealand focused and soo awesome! The illustrations are simply gorgeous and has children noticing all sorts of details they wouldn't normally.
Its not just the animals that are (obviously) New Zealand but the entire picture on each and every page really shows what it is to live in New Zealand... there's pavlova and L&P in the fridge and Old McDonald looks like a real farmer should! I would definitely recommend this book to others, children will love this New Zealand version. I have considered sending it as a present to nieces in Australia too.. but i am still deciding on that one :)
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