Maine author updates ‘Old MacDonald’ story for today’s farms

Kalee Gwarjanski of Gray spent a lot of time this spring visiting schools and libraries in Maine to help local children celebrate something unexpected: vegetables.

The vegetable-themed stories and crafts accompany her first book, “Miss MacDonald Has a Farm,” which was published this spring by Doubleday, Random House Children's Books. The book was inspired by a family visit six years ago when Gwarjanski's four young children picked up vegetables from a farm.

Children in Maine receive formal education about nutrition through state and federal food assistance programs, the Department of Education and local nonprofits. “Miss MacDonald Has a Farm” brings some of that home, and Gwarjanski says the children enjoy learning about vegetables. Parents regularly email her to tell her they read the book as a family every night and their children sing the modified song “EIEI grow.”

Anna Harden

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