Old Manhattan Has Some Farms: E-I-E-I-Grow!

Old Manhattan Has Some Farms: E-I-E-I-Grow! illus. by Kate Endle. 32p. ebook available. score. websites. Charlesbridge. Aug. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781580895729. LC 2013014223.
PreS-Gr 2—The traditional song moves into the 21st century as Lendroth explores various types of urban farming, giving children a broader perspective of modern city gardening. Sites and topics include farming on rooftops, composting, growing worms, and cultivating bee hives. The verses are simple, and the concept is clever, with each line ending with "E-I-E-I Grow." Each verse is introduced with the drawings of iconic cityscapes: Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, Seattle, New York City, and Washington, DC, specifically, the White House. With the exception of Atlanta, each of the city outlines are recognizable by some famous feature, such as the Empire State Building or the Space Needle. Multiethnic families, with charmingly drawn round-headed children, demonstrate the varieties of the gardening projects. The illustrations are brightly colored with heavy black outlines. More detailed information about these approaches to urban gardening appear at the end in a section entitled "Green Matters." The cover includes a link to download the song, sung by Caspar Babypants. Deborah Hodge's Watch Me Grow!: A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City (Kids Can, 2011) is similar but illustrated with photos. Old Manhattan will make a great addition to most collections and should encourge children to create verses for their own communities.—Elaine Lesh Morgan, formerly at Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
"On a high-rise here, / in a backyard there-- / climbing up, hanging down, / spreading green all over town." Peppy verses set to the tune of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" (sheet music included) describe how gardens are thriving today in each of several cities. The clean-lined, vegetation-filled illustrations are as sumptuous-looking as fresh produce. Further information about urban agriculture is appended. Websites.

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