Old MacDonald would be greatly surprised to find that although his cows and pigs and sheep might need a rural setting, cities are just fine for growing lots of healthy crops.
From Manhattan to Atlanta to Chicago and beyond, in cities across the United States and Canada, urban farmers are carving out spaces on rooftops and windowsills, in empty lots, backyards and community gardens. Employing a variety of methods, they are raising vegetables and herbs or keeping bees and making honey. Worms and hydroponics aid in the endeavors of these farmers, and even the White House compost bins play their part. There’s a lot of information to absorb, but Lendroth literally makes the facts sing to the tune of the old folk song, with the refrain “E-I-E-I-Grow” following each city’s verse. The verses flow easily and follow the song’s pattern in aabb rhyme while managing to include such words as “radicchio” and “arugula” without missing a beat. The visual experience matches the text beautifully. An ethnically diverse cast of adults and children are busily digging, weeding and harvesting a variety of tempting foods in Endle’s large-scale double-page spreads. Rendered in gouache, the illustrations are thickly outlined in black and filled with the brightest of eye-popping colors set among rich brown soil and myriad greens.
Little ones will sing along and get their own gardens growing. (afterword, resources, music) (Picture book. 3-8)