Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A charming little story (edited) ...


..that I read for the first time - today - & ended up buying for myself bc I enjoyed it so much. Even w/ so few words & such beautiful illustrations, there is more between its covers than meets the eye.

A review from Amazon.com:

When Henry and his friend agree to go to Fitchburg to see the country, they each choose very different methods of travel, based on their very different approaches to life. This charming little story illustrates through minimal text and fantastically stylized paintings the concepts Henry David Thoreau spent his life trying out. While Henry (the storybook Henry is a bear) collects flowers to press, strolls on stone walls, finds bird nests, and gathers blackberries, his friend toils and sweats to earn enough money for the train fare to Fitchburg. With subtle nods at Thoreau and his real-life pals Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne (Henry's friend cleans out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house, moves the bookcases in Mr. Emerson's study, and pulls weeds in Mr. Hawthorne's garden), D.B. Johnson cleverly introduces young readers to these important historical figures. No moralizing here, just a gentle, humorous look at the different paths each person may choose in life. Johnson chose a passage in Thoreau's Walden (the passage is included in the informative author's note) as inspiration for this delightful picture book, which Thoreau himself would probably be proud to read. (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Now ... based on the very(!) little I know about Thoreau & his approach to life after reading this VERY short story based on it, I find myself wanting to purchase & read his book Walden from which the author quoted in his notes at the end of the hardcover edition of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg that I read today.

I'm curious --- have you read any of Thoreau's work - & if yes, what did
you think of it?

I edited this after I originally posted it. I read more about Walden...& I think I'll stick w/ Henry Hikes to Fitchburg for now :)


The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

I will definitely be reading Henry Hikes to Fitchburg! By coincidence I read Walden this past spring. I grew to understand his appreciation of Nature and not wanting to disrupt it.
It would make a great book to read on cold winter evenings, snuggled up on the couch.

MyStory of HiStory said...

Hmmm - mb I'll read it. I was intrigued by that too in some description of the book but as i read more I gathered Thoreau was a transcendentalist(?) & I just find that kinda creepy - tho' I admit I don't totally understand what all that means.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Might I suggest that you pick up a copy at the library? If you don't care for it, no loss.
I think its strength was that it made me think about my actions. I couldn't completely live the way he did, but now think twice about my relation to the Earth/environment.

MyStory of HiStory said...

Thx farmgal. My problem - I am so bad at returning books on time...& love to mark up books...undlerline/highlight things that strike me ...I don't think the library would like me very much when I was done w/ the book :) But I'm leaning toward reading it now that you've shared your thoughts. Thank you. Mb I can pick up a used copy for cheap online.