Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop

This fun twist on a familiar song envisions Old MacDonald as a capable, bespectacled sheep, who’s busy building something “in her shop.” One by one her animal friends and neighbors drop by and take up various tools a hammer: (“with a tap tap here/ and a tap tap there”), a file (“with a scritch scratch here/ and a scritch scratch there”) and so on and join in on the project. Soon, the whole barnyard is busily employed until the very end when Old MacDonald unveils a scale replica masterpiece of their very own home (“and in her shop she had a farm!”). Preschoolers will want to join in the bouncy cadences and alliterative sounds of Lisa Shulman’s version of the cumulative rhyme.

Wolff’s bright gouache and pastel illustrations drop subtle hints to the project in process. Soft shading ratchets up the cozy factor, while such touches as gold hoop earrings and a floral apron for Old MacDonald, a chicken picking apples from a tree and a very tidy mouse who sweeps up wood shavings at the bottom of each page add character to the barnyard as well as pizzazz. Endpapers designed as a pegboard neatly display (and label) the tools used within the book

~Publisher’s Weekly

A crafty ewe gathers her friends in her well-equipped workshop to saw, drill, hammer, chisel, file, screw, and paint various bits of wood. This delightful twist on the classic song (with loads of fun sound effects) is a must for do-it-yourself children. Ms. MacDonald is equally at home in her apron or her tool belt.

Wolff has provided spectacles for “old” MacDonald, as white hair is not a clear age indicator on a sheep. The endpapers identify a nice variety of hand tools while the illustrations “done on Arches Cover in gouache and pastel with brown-colored pencil line” introduce a pleasing cast of characters. Full-, double-, and partial-page cartoon illustrations support the text agreeably with just enough detail to entertain without clutter. The building project-a model farm complete with barnyard animals-is unveiled on the last spread. The little mouse that endeavors to keep the shop clean throughout the process is as dear as any of the characters. Children will love this book’s perky prose and pleasing pictures.

-~School Library Journal

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