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JO MACDONALD SAW A POND by Mary Quattlebaum


by Mary Quattlebaum & illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58469-150-1
Publisher: Dawn Publications

A sing-along inspired by the sights and sounds of a pond.

When Jo visits her grandfather’s farm, she observes the plants and animals she finds by the pond, sketching them so she can share them with Old MacDonald later. She first notices the reeds, and the sound they make: “Jo MacDonald saw a pond, / E-I-E-I-O. / And in that pond she saw some reeds, / E-I-E-I-O. / With a swish-swish here.…” The familiar tune starts on page one and never misses a beat, begging kids to participate. Indeed, the rollicking atmosphere during a sharing of this book will likely be in marked contrast to what is happening inside it. As Jo settles in to watch, her quietness and stillness pay off as some animals gradually emerge: fish, frogs, ducks, a bird, a few coons, some deer and a dragonfly. Backmatter includes Jo’s final sketch (delightfully childlike) as well a paragraph about each animal, a list of books about ponds and some activities that can help youngsters be a naturalist like Jo. Observant readers will notice the clever design of the illustrations that hides the last-mentioned animal and the next one within the spread. Bryant’s softly colored watercolor creatures echo Jo’s rosy-cheeked childhood innocence and have just a touch of expression in their faces.

Sure to inspire a rousing storytime, this is also likely to encourage readers to explore the world around them. (Picture book. 3-8)