Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Johnson, D.B.

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers, 2000
ISBN 10: 0395968674 / ISBN 13: 9780395968673
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Synopsis: Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau's WALDEN, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, each decides to get there in his own way and have surprisingly different days.

Review: 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

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Title: Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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D.B. Johnson
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ISBN 10: 0395968674 ISBN 13: 9780395968673
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