Old MacDonald Had a Truck by Steve Goetz
Illustrations by Eda Kaban
Publisher: Chronicles Books
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a...TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic tale plays to the kids who are obsessed with big vehicles.
This is going to be both a review and a rant of sorts, so anyone invested in this book (author, illustrator, etc.) should not take this too personally. I liked this story on its own. The illustrations are bright and colorful, full of the life one expects to find in an illustrated song book.
My rant is with the rehashing of the same story to the point of ad nauseam. Not only does Old MacDonald have a truck, but he also has help from a hen, a dragon, a woodshop, an apartment house, a band, and of course the many many versions of a typical farm. Sure, the picture book audience ages out of a book rather quickly, but is that a reason to keep making the same book over and over. If this was a movie franchise, it would be like remaking The Lion King every five years or so, adding a slight twist, and then expecting people to buy and love it as much as they did the original simply because the kids now didn't see the last one. People lose it when they remake their favorite movies and I find it interesting that people are okay with it happening in books. This is not to say that these books aren't done well, I just wonder what the logic is behind making yet another Old MacDonald book on the part of both the author and the publishers. How easy or hard is it to sell such a concept? Is it like writing an ABC/123 book? Does it matter that there are already a bunch of books like it? Or does the slight twist make it seem different and unique? These are questions I don't have answers to mind you. Just like my movies though, I am far more entertained by books that feel original rather than the rehash of an already familiar topic.