Today for Picture Book Fridays, I bring you another retelling by master storyteller Margaret Hodges...
Written by: Margaret Hodges
Illustrated by: Kimberly Bulcken Root
Published by: Holiday House/New York
Ages: 6 to 10
Themes: American legends, American biography, frontier and pioneer life: Midwest, apple growers, adventurers.
First paragraph: Johnny Chapman was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, in 1774. When he was a baby, his mother made him a little hammock and hung it on the bough of an apple tree. He could hear his mother singing as she helped his father harvest their crop of apples:
Rock-a-bye baby, in the treetop;
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock...
Front flap: Some folks say that when the apple trees bloom white in the Spring, you just might catch a glimpse of someone moving among the trees at the far end of the orchard. And, if you do, you can make a pretty good guess that it's Johnny Appleseed come back go tend his beloved trees.
Johnny Appleseed was consumed by a single desire- to spread the beauty and bounty of the apple throughout our country-and he devoted his entire life to this mission. Barefoot, wearing a stewpot as a hat, he traveled across the untamed West, tirelessly planting apple trees. Johnny Appleseed was considered crazy by some, and a hero by others, but his story has captivated generations of Americans.
Why I like this book:
It portrayed Johnny as a warmhearted, relational person, with a desire to help others. I was amazed he took one book with him...the Bible, and read it to others along the way. At one point (he would purchase books on his journey), he tore out pages (horrors!) from a book and left them with homesteaders who had nothing to read. It became the first "mobile" library. Isn't that a hoot?
I also like the gentle illustrations which capture the character and spirit of this adventurer.
There were so many links to this topic, but here are three I chose:
Apple Activities for Kids
Johnny Appleseed Teacher Resources
Johnny Appleseed on PINTEREST