When the author's scoresheet includes books called the Wicked Nursery Rhymes trilogy along with retellings of Frankenstein and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, one might be forgiven for approaching his version of Old MacDonald with high expectations.
Gris Grimly does not disappoint. As in all of his illustrations, this familiar nursery rhyme has taken on a mix of the sense that we are awaiting the imminent arrival of something eerie and twisted all buddied up with a deep-seated need to make the world over into a comedic production.
Old MacDonald, dearly resembling some lackadaisical scarecrow who has mischievously escaped his field duties, is setting out on an adventure that will lead us across his farm as he tends to his animal husbandry requirements... which means he needs to feed the animals.
The animals seem to be getting along fine without him and his visits to the hen house, the pig sty and the cow pasture result in murder, compassion, camaraderie and a wardrobe upgrade.
One small story after another emerges as Old Mac tractors onward leading to a delightful and unexpected twist as the finale. The author of SIPPING SPIDERS THROUGH A STRAW is clearly still up to his best old tricks. Fun read aloud especially for the wigglers.
40 pages 978-1338112436 Ages 5-10
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
Editors' note: Back matter shares that Old MacDonald has roots in a song sung in World War I, Old MacDougall.
Celebrated creator Gris Grimly, widely known for his gothic style illustrations, turns over a new creative leaf in his glorious interpretation of this beloved preschool anthem. Inspired by his son's love for Old MacDonald and his own family's farming history, and with stunning, sweeping watercolor illustrations, and a surprise twist ending that kids will relish, Gris brings this beloved song to glorious new life.--from the publisher