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OLD MACDONALD HAD A BOAT by Steve Goetz Kirkus Star


by Steve Goetz ; illustrated by Eda Kaban

Pub Date: March 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-4521-6505-9
Publisher: Chronicle Books

The MacDonalds and their farm-animal crew return in a rollicking new adventure to transform an old fishing boat into a slick speedboat.

Goetz and Kaban again use the same format of their debut picture book, Old MacDonald Had a Truck (2016), to hilarious effect. Another day at the MacDonalds’ place begins placidly enough, but this time the souped-up truck from the first book hauls a well-worn boat to the barn, and the action gets underway. A buzz saw, hammer, blow torch and sander provide the sounds for kids to holler along with: “with a BUZZ BUZZ here and a BUZZ BUZZ there.” The animals, dressed in kids’ clothes, are busy with a variety of tools as the story builds to a climax. By the end of the day, everyone is cheering as they tow one another on water skis. Illustrations are deceptively simple. Large, colorful spreads provide lots to look at, inviting readers to slow the song down, building suspense. Expressions on animals’ faces hint at their friendships and concern for one another. A pair of lovebirds oversees the day’s events, echoing the relationship that the not-so-old MacDonalds (depicted as a white-haired, pale-skinned, heterosexual couple) have.

A delightful way to reinforce cooperation in getting a job done while having fun.

(Picture book. 2-5)