Old Macdonald Had An Apartment House
written by Judi Barrett with illustrations by Ron Barrett/ published 1969 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
A very silly book with lots and lots of things to discover, my kid way gets a kick out of the story. An apartment superintendent becomes bored with his humdrum life and decides to turn his city dwelling into an organic greenhouse. The black and white illustrations (with a splash of veggie green, carrot orange and tomato red!) are a hoot to look at, and the cartooning style isn't the least bit dated.
"Why not get rid of the rest of the hedge," Old MacDonald said.
"Then instead, I could plant vegetables in the yard.
They're better looking than the hedge and better tasting, too."
So he cut the whole hedge down to the ground and in its place he
planted rows of corn and melons and beans and radishes.
The fountain became a self-watering pea patch.
These are the type of pictures that might have spooked me when I was a kid, but now I love the detail and the interesting use of color throughout. Being a former city-girl myself, the whole idea of an apartment building that doubles as a farm is way, way, way cool. It's always fun to juxtapose one thing against something unfamiliar, and kid's really find that stuff hilarious. When my son saw the carrots growing out of the ceiling, he had a massive giggle attack and rolled himself silly.