The True Tale of Johnny Appleseed

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9780823415090: The True Tale of Johnny Appleseed

Relates the story of the man who traveled west planting apple seeds to make the country a better place to live

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About the Author:

Margaret "Peggy" Hodges (July 26, 1911–December 13, 2005) was a Caldecott Award-winning American writer of books for children. She was born Sarah Margaret Moore in Indianapolis, Indiana to Arthur Carlisle and Annie Marie Moore. She enrolled at Tudor Hall, a college preparatory school for girls. A 1932 graduate of Vassar College, she arrived in Pittsburgh with her husband Fletcher Hodges Jr. when in 1937 he became curator at the Stephen Foster Memorial. She trained as a librarian at Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, under Elizabeth Nesbitt, and she volunteered as a storyteller at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Beginning in 1958 with One Little Drum, she wrote and published more than 40 books. In the 1960s she did a storytelling segment for Fred Rogers' children's television show at WQED. Her 1985 book Saint George and the Dragon, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, won the Caldecott Medal of the American Library Association. What's for Lunch, Charley? and Merlin and the Making of the King are two of her other well-known works. She was a professor of library science at the University of Pittsburgh, where she retired in 1976. Hodges died of heart disease December 13, 2005 at her home in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She suffered from Parkinson's disease. She wrote her stories on a notepad or a typewriter. "I need good ideas, and they don't come out of machines," she once said.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 4. Hodges's well-shaped, anecdotal account of the legendary Johnny Chapman presents the familiar eccentric wanderer who wore his stewpot on his head and gave away his clothes. The author credits Chapman with carrying more than apple seeds in trekking back and forth between east and west. "Often, Johnny would take a book apart and leave sections in cabins along his way, picking them up on his next visit." Root sets her jacket view of Chapman against glowing red and green apple tones, and her full-page watercolor scenes are lighthearted in tone and detail. Fragments of gold picture frames appearing sporadically around the paintings are an intriguing device. Artistic elements echoing the story appear in pieces of these frames, which fade away, opening the view suggestively. Both text and illustrations imply that the simple story of the itinerant planter, friend to all and given to religious visions, is grounded in truth yet exceeds literal fact. A bit of tongue-in-cheek and a suggestion of tall tale spark the felicitous blend of biography and folklore, which will be widely used and enjoyed. Dates and places of Chapman's birth and death ground the tale, but Hodges cites no sources; her concluding author's note briefly explains the historical milieu of the westward movement.?Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Margaret Hodges
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