Cover of Old MacDonald's Song Book Arrangements by Adam Stemple

Old MacDonald’s Song Book

The third of four music books I did for Boyds Mills. Adam was wonderful to work with, shipping me off the simple arrangements which I then played on the piano. We figured if I could sight read them, ANYONE could! Many were animal songs I’d taught him when he was a child. I picked the songs, wrote the historical notes. Adam did all the musical arrangements. Rosekranz Hoffman was my first choice for artist, and I persuaded Boyds Mill to use her. Her quirky, cranky illustrations are perfect for the book. I wish my name weren’t so prominent in the title, however. That was the publisher’s choice.

What reviewers have said:

  • “…Yolen delivers a lively collection of 43 songs featuring animals from the farm…At the beginning of each selection is a word or phrase describing the manner in which the song should be sung–“wistfully,” or “jauntily,” for example. Parents and teachers may find these directives helpful for building vocabulary and for teaching the importance of mood and expression in singing.” — Booklist
  • “The selections emphasize the playful, occasionally irreverent, aspects of the tunes with spirited but easy piano arrangements and guitar chords.” — Horn Book
  • “Jane Yolen’s talents and her knowledge of the young child is evidenced again in…this collection of barnyard rhymes put to music arranged by Adam Stemple. Yolen’s brief histories of each add another dimension…and the illustrations by Hoffman make the book a visual joy as well.” — Western New York Family Magazine
  • “This well-illustrated book is the perfect gift for the young musician in your life…Yolen offers interesting background with each song, but the real value of this book is the musical arrangements. Scored for piano and guitar, many tunes are simple enough to make a beginner feel confident and competent.” — USA Today
  • “A very engaging biok, full of animal songs. The beautiful illustrations and piano arrangements make this a wonderful resource for primary teachers, and fun for all ages.” — Catholic Library World