The Farm that Mac Built by Tammi Sauer (+GIVEAWAY)

Get your tickets, Picture Book Builders readers! On August 11, there’s a way off-Broadway production coming to bookstores, libraries, and barnyards near you. It’s called The Farm that Mac Built.

But Mac doesn’t deserve all the credit for building this farm. Nope. He had a little help. I wrote the words, Jackie Urbanovic created the art, and Clarion put it all together.

I think my childhood had something to do with it, too. Evidence:

(I’m the fashionista in the pink socks and sandals.)

The idea for this book came to me while I was driving home from an out-of-state school visit. I happened to be listening to the audio book version of Kristin Chenoweth’s funny and fabulous A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages.

Listening to Kristin share her backstage stories as a leading lady on Broadway suddenly made me want to tell an onstage story. I actually had to pull over and jot down some notes.

Right away, I knew the title:

This book is my first cumulative tale. I really enjoyed the challenge of tackling this story structure. Plus, it is my first mash-up. I loved combining the basic framework of “The House that Jack Built” with the characters and sounds from “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”

Be warned, though, Picture Book Builder reader. This barnyard production doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Take it from Kirkus and School Library Journal:

“Sauer’s cumulative mash-up of ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ and ‘The House That Jack Built’ will delight audiences familiar with both. Urbanovic’s cartoon illustrations of (mostly) clothed animal performers elevate this nightmare production into a hilarious comedy of errors….No owls here, but this one is definitely a hoot.” —Kirkus

“Lots of word repetition and animal sound effects, combined with Urbanovic’s comically expressive cartoon illustrations, make this a rollicking read-aloud that will encourage young readers to join in on the silliness.” — School Library Journal 


To order signed and personalized copies of the book, contact my local indie, Best of Books, at or at ‭(405) 340-9202‬.


For a chance to win a signed copy of The Farm that Mac Built, just leave a comment and/or share this post on Twitter. Please include @SauerTammi in your Twitter post.


Congratulations, Wendy Wahman! You are the winner of a signed copy of Here Comes Ocean by Meg Fleming.

Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. I absolutely love humorous picture books and this looks like a “knee slapper” of a story! Looking forward to reading it!

  2. What a clever idea! It looks like such a fun book. Can’t wait to get my hands (paws?) on it!

  3. Omg I LOVE your inspiration, isn’t Kristin Chenweth just amazing?!? I was a huge Glee fan, too, and loved when she came on! Thanks for rth great post !

  4. This looks like a “hoot!”. Can’t wait to read it Tammi. The illustrations are fabulous.

  5. Book looks great, I want to read it to my twins!

  6. Is is going to be a stunning read aloud. Thanks, Tammi!

  7. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    Sounds like so much fun! Congrats!

  8. I love that you had to pull over to jot down some notes. I love that it’s a cumulative story, and I love the illustrations!

  9. What a fun mash up! It looks like a great book!

  10. This looks like a winner, for sure! Congrats!

  11. Amanda Sincavage

    So much to love in this book (and post)! Love the inspiration behind the book and can’t wait to see how you mashed up a popular song with the well-loved cumulative story.

  12. Sounds like a ton of fun!

  13. Danielle Hammelef

    This book is a must read for me. I enjoy this author’s book very much.

  14. Looks like a theatrical winner! I know my kids adore your books and I do too!

  15. Tammi, you never stop to amaze me! What a great story behind the story too. Can’t wait to check this puppy, I mean, Farm, out. Congratulations!!!!

  16. It looks like another fun book! Congrats, Tammi! What a clever mash-up!

  17. Jilanne Hoffmann

    Absolutely brilliant inspiration! Can’t wait to read this! (I’m so glad you pulled over.)

  18. Interesting post–I’m so glad you write” funny,” and I looking forward to reading this!

  19. Looks like a fantastic mash-up. Congrats!!

  20. This book looks so delightful! Thanks for sharing your inspiration. Now I want to write a mashup.

  21. Looks like a whole lot of fun!

  22. This sounds like a blast to read aloud. Way to go, Tammi, for such a clever mashup. I can’t wait to read it.

  23. This sounds like a blast to read aloud. Way to go, Tammi, for another fun story. I can’t wait to read it.

  24. Looks like LOTS of fun, Tammi! Congrats!!!

  25. Can’t wait for this one! Love that pink get up, I’m sure I had a similar one.

  26. I know I will enjoy it!

  27. My niece LOVES farm animals and would love this book! I love the illustrations!

  28. As a theater geek (and one that has listened to Kristen’s audio book on a road trip) I can’t wait to see this.

  29. Love the idea. Congratulations!

  30. Jodie Chapdelaine

    So excited, thank you for a chance!!!!

  31. Jodie Chapdelaine

    Wrote wrong address

  32. I love cumulative tales and so do my students!

  33. What a fun book — love both this author and illustrator!

  34. Can’t wait to read it!! It looks fantastic!!

  35. I love that you’re always trying out new picture book structures/styles! Congrats, Tammi!

  36. This really does look like a “hoot!” I can’t wait to read it! Congrats!

  37. Hey, let’s put on a show in the barn! Sounds like a fun book!

  38. Carole Calladine

    I can’t wait to buy my ticket to see this production. I agree with Kirkus. What a hoot of an idea! Thanks for writing this one.

  39. I love Kristin Chenweth . She is so funny and your book sounds like another winner. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Congrats on another fabulous book Tammi. This sounds like it will be a hoot to read aloud.

  41. Looks like a ‘smash hit’! Looking forward to reading it. : )

  42. How fun! Can’t wait to read this one and then pass it on to the music teacher at our school, too! Congrats!

  43. Congratulations, Tammi, on another winner!! My grandpa had a tractor on his farm like the one in your picture! That gives me some “farm” ideas . . .

  44. Very clever picture book. Wishing you much success with this title!

  45. This looks awesome! Can’t wait to read another Tammi book!

  46. Looking for front row seats for this one!

  47. Boy oh boy! This book is so cute!

  48. If they gave a Tony Award for picture books, this looks like a shew-in for a nomination, Tammi. Bravo!

  49. Cynthia Wyszynski

    O.M.G. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this!!!

  50. This looks fantastic. Congratulations, Tammi!

  51. I love that you pulled over to write your idea notes. Can’t wait to read it.

  52. Imaginative and Fun! Can’t wait!

  53. Love it, Tammi! I’d like to try the cumulative structure as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

  54. Can’t wait for this book — I’m a sucker for children’s books (I guess because I have vivid memories of reading my “little” books as a young child). I still have and treasure some of those books.

  55. I love humorous books with lots of work play. I am currently using your books as mentor texts. Can’t wait to read your new production. Popcorn is ready!!

  56. Tammi, I love your books, and this one looks like it deserves a standing ovation!

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