OLD MACDONALD IN THE CITY

Suzanne Williams, Author , illus. by Thor Wickstrom. Golden $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-307-10685-8

What if Old MacDonald owned a pushcart and sold snacks in an urban park? As Williams (Library Lil) and Wickstrom (Hiccup Snickup) see it, agriculture is a picnic compared with all the humorous adversity their transplanted hero must confront. Old MacDonald, wearing a jaunty beret and vest, and sporting a handlebar mustache, takes pride in his yellow pushcart with its red rooftop: "Old MacDonald had a cart,/ E-I-E-I-O./ Beside his cart there stood ONE horse,/ E-I-E-I-O." Then that horse, which belongs to a policeman, swipes an apple and it's all downhill—by book's end, marauding animals have carried off almost all of his wares, and the now resigned but bemused vendor hands his remaining lollipop to the child who has been his self-appointed sidekick. Williams keeps track of the ever-increasing groups of animals (six pigeons, eight geese, etc.) and delineates their distinctive sounds (the three crows fly "with a caw-caw here/ and a caw-caw there"), but the acts of thievery are Wickstrom's province, relayed only in his oil paintings. His clever diversion draws readers into the cartoon comedy of his spreads and keeps them wondering what will be purloined next. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 08/01/2002
Genre: Children's
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