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Johnny Appleseed: Story of a Legend, The Paperback – August 19, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Employing an intriguing blend of biography, comparative literature and good old-fashioned yarn-spinning, Moses (Silent Night; The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) explores the life and times of Johnny Appleseed, the great tree hugger and tree planter from American folklore. Appleseed, who began life as John Chapman, born in Massachusetts in 1774, had always longed to "live as he wanted, free like the Indians and the animals," in the wild woods and undeveloped lands of early America. At the leisurely pace of a stroll through a country orchard, Moses fashions his own homespun account of Johnny's adventures by touching upon myriad legends and tales. According to the narrative, as a young man Johnny headed west to the frontier, where the ideas that formed his lifelong vision took shape: "apples were good for just about everything" and the versatile fruit was "just what the frontier needed." Living in the woods, often tattered and scruffy in appearance, Johnny roamed the wilds of western Pennsylvania and the Ohio frontier planting apple seeds and saplings and helping pioneers do the same. His reputation for kindness and generosity, as well as for his strange behavior, grew even after his death in 1845. Delicate, folk-art oil paintings capture the eccentric folk hero in his "outlandish hat a soup pot one day, a pasteboard cap the next" as well as America at its bucolic best a rolling land of fertile hills, farms and rivers and, of course, bountiful, blossoming apple trees. All ages.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. This picture-book biography of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, is written and illustrated by a well-known folk artist. Starting in 1774, the year of Chapman's birth, Moses briefly covers Chapman's early childhood, and then quickly moves on to his young adult years, when he leaves home for the frontier. The bulk of the book documents Chapman's rich adult life and celebrates his odd ways. The book will augment a classroom unit on pioneer life or even folklore, but the text is too long and complex for the usual picture-book crowd, and it will appeal only to the older, most committed Appleseed fans. The paintings, however, from thumbnail size to almost full page, are filled with rich detail and are unforgettable. Kathy Broderick
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (August 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142401382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142401385
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,794,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Scott W. Mertz on October 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had a chance to review a copy of the book at the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have studied and portrayed John Chapman/Johnny Appleseed for the festival since 1979. The artwork and prose writing are very good in this book which tell the legend of Johnny. The historical facts however are not correct. This work doesn't help anyone reading it separate the fact from the myths or legends. Since the author did not leave any historical note distiguishing fact from fiction the work may perpetuate misinformation. Many of the people who work the festival and know the history constantly fight the fabrication that John wore a pan on his head. Settlers in John's day would also not recognize the illustrations since an author who wrote a romaticized novel well after John died made up the pan story. Many authors of fiction and nonfiction are beginning to take that pan off John's head.
This book does display a beautiful folk art style. For best appreciation libraries should keep this book with the art or poetry/short story books. Schools should use this book along with other factual books to explore the richness of Johnny's legends and to teach the differences between historical fact and legends or myths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alicia M. Byars on September 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read many books about Johnny Appleseed to my children, but have never felt the need to write a glowing review about one until now. This book was lovely. The folk style illustrations were enchanting, and the story was a perfect combination of Johnny Chapman, the man, and Johnny Appleseed, the legendary tall tale. The text is longer than the average storybook, but my grade school children all sat captivated listening as I read it. I think what particularly captured me was the depth of characterization details and inclusion of his spirituality that so many current authors would avoid. I've been borrowing library books about Johnny Appleseed every fall, but this is the first one I've wanted for myself.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best Johnny Appleseed books I've read. It's written for children and would hold the attention of children of all ages. Unlike many Johnny Appleseed books, this book concentrates on the "real" Johnny Appleseed, it contains details of his life I hadn't read anywhere else. The book only includes a few of the more legendary aspects of Johnny Appleseed's life and is careful to point out those parts as legends. The book is beautifully illustrated and the full pages illustrations help one to feel fully immersed in the story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Grew up with stories of Johnny Appleseed and want my kids to also, and my wife happens to love Will Moses. This is a great book with a timeless story and beautiful artwork.
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