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Old MacDonald Had a Dragon Hardcover – October 9, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

The farmer who starts singing the old familiar song has a dragon. At the mention of the giant beast, the traditional barnyard residents start complaining. The cow is first, “I’ve got a beef with you.” She threatens to leave if the dragon stays and is swallowed up by the fire-breathing creature. The pig, the sheep, and the dog meet the same fate. Up to this point, the farmer has defended his new addition, but losing the dog makes him confront the dragon, and he is also swallowed. Inside the beast’s stomach, the farmer and all the animals start a rousing chorus of “E-I-E-I-Os,” and they are all ejected. “‘Terrible tummy ache’, howled the dragon.” He takes off and leaves the farmer, the animals, and the song back in its standard form. There is a lot of clever wordplay here. After the dragon swallows the sheep, he quips, “Marvelous mutton.” The digitally created illustrations feature expressive faces and plenty of action. The background is light blue in all the scenes, but the pictures and the characters are varied in size throughout the story, which makes the journey fun. Children are sure to enjoy this amusing twist on the classic song.–School Library Journal

Review

“Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.” That’s the beginning of the traditional verse in which farm animals are introduced, one by one. But when Farmer MacDonald acquires a dragon, all the farm animals are alarmed and disappear, one by one. Utah author Ken Baker gives a new twist to an old nonsense song with a sudden conclusion that will assuredly bring giggles and demands to “read it again!” The clever script is laced with puns, such as the cow having a “beef” with Old MacDonald, who retorts that the animal is “bull-headed.” Reading aloud is a must to catch the delicious alliterations in which the “dragon wilted its wings and waddled away,” or “With a lick of its lips and a flash of fire, it flapped its wings and flew away….” Flashy, bold, digitally rendered cartoon-like artwork captures the humor and carries the story through a fresh new version that will delight young listeners who may want to sing and act out the whole adventure. --Marilou Sorensen  Deseret News, October 6, 2012
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761461752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761461753
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.7 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Ken Baker is the author of OLD MACDONALD HAD A DRAGON, COW CAN'T SLEEP, and BRAVE LITTLE MONSTER. He lives near Utah's Wasatch mountains, but grew up in the California Bay Area. In addition to writing books, he enjoys spending time with his family boating, wakeboarding, snowboarding, swimming, camping, and watching his children play sports. He also enjoys basketball, windsurfing, scuba diving, exercising at the gym, and coaching his children in the different sports they play.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rachel McElhany VINE VOICE on November 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In Old MacDonald Had a Dragon, the farmer has a dragon who systematically swallows up the other farm animals when they complain that a dragon has no place on a farm.

The illustrations in this book are bright and colorful. The story was silly and I personally didn't find it terribly original. However, my six and eight year old boys both gave it a thumbs up and said they thought it was funny. It also taught them some new expressions, which may or may not be a good thing: dog-gone, two-bit and having a "beef" with someone.

And don't worry (SPOILER ALERT) - everyone gets burped out of the dragon in the end and avoids permanent injury.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JLW VINE VOICE on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My boys love this book. The author did a wonderful job incorporating a well loved children's song with something most kids love, dragons. The pictures are bright and colorful, and the repetition in the wording allowed my kids to participate in the reading, which they love to do. Overall, this is a great kids book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on November 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In a twist on the classic song, author Ken Baker has the farmer sing about owning a dragon. Needless to say, his fellow farm animals are not thrilled about this newest addition. In turn, the cow, sheep, pigs, and pet dog complain, but before they can finish their complaints, the dragon swoops down and swallows them up. Soon, Farmer McDonald realizes that having a dragon on a farm may not be such a good thing after all.

Illustrations by Christopher Santoro bring the dragon and the other farm animals to life, most humorously, especially as the dragon becomes ever more sluggish with every delectable farm morsel he consumes. Thist may not be the best book for young children, if they are not acquainted with the ways of dragons, but it will definitely help break the monotony some adults endure in singing the same song over and over. It's almost like a combination of Old McDonald and the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Charme HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Old MacDonald now has a dragon on his farm that is eating the other animals. But the book is not scary at all. Each page is beautifully illustrated and colorful. I think it may be a little too advanced below 3 years of age, but I just paraphrase and my 22 month old granddaughter loves looking at the pictures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The illustrations are big and bold which make this book visually arresting. The story is ok but nothing special. It is an offbeat take on the traditional Old McDonald song in which a dragon eats all the farm animals and then regurgitates them safe and sound in the end.

The length of the book is longer than many typical children's books which is a positive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Beckford on July 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is just the cutest book - great for kindergarten age children. The prose has lots of double meanings that the children think is cute, but adults will get the second meaning. For example, the farmer had a pig and the pig was on a motorcycle and it talked about a hog. It was definitely a biker pig.

The illustrations were colorful and well done. But the clever writing truly made this book fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet C. on July 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book....my 2 1/2 year old grandson loves this book and will lift up his shirt to show me all the animals in his belly! Great story line......I would recommend this book for a toddler!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'll preface that the story itself is just okay: a spin on Old MacDonald's farm in which the animals get eaten, one by one, by a dragon (then all spit out in the end - tummy ache and all).

What's fantastic about this title is Christopher Santoro's illustrations, which I've missed the last few years where he's been who-knows-where. Santoro was a prolific illustrator in children's books in the late 80's and early 90's (including my favorite from that era, "Charlie the Caterpillar"). He hasn't done many since, which is too bad because his trademark use of scale and color with over-heightened shading are what save Old MacDonald Had a Dragon. In this title, the dragon gets larger and the animals more concerned with each passing page as the farm is consumed. Santoro's clever ability to convey this alarm to children with whimsy rather than distress is miraculous, and save this otherwise challenged story.
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