Monday, November 13, 2006

Children's Book Monday - Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg
by D.B. Johnson

This children's book is based on Henry David Thoreau's book, Walden.

Two bears, Henry and his friend, agree to go to Fitchburg to see the country. Henry decides to walk, while his friend chooses to work and earn his train ticket. "We'll see who gets there first!"

Henry's friend works odd jobs, earning 10 cents here, 5 cents there, while Henry enjoys hopping rocks across the river, walking on stone walls, and crossing a swamp.

My boys had a fine time adding Henry's friends' pennies to see how much he had, and they enjoyed seeing the beautiful pieces of nature that Henry delighted in. We also appreciated the short biography at the end of the book that spoke of Thoreau, and his love of nature.

Thoreau also loved to take long walks through the woods and fields, and was never without pockets full of pencils, paper, his jackknife, some string, a spyglass, magnifying glass and his flute. He thought people could live quite happily without big houses, lots of furniture and high-paying jobs; spending less time working to earn the money and more time enjoying the things that interested them. Thoreau built a cabin at Walden Pond and lived there for two years, alone, where he wrote his book, Walden.

"One says to me, 'I wonder that you do not lay up money; you love to travel; you might take the cars and go to Fitchburg today and see the country.' But I am wiser than that. I have learned that the swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot. I say to my friend, 'Suppose we try who will get there first. The distance is thirty miles; the fare ninety cents...Well, I start now on foot, and get there before night;...You will in the meanwhile have earned your fare, and arrive there some time tomorrow, or possibly this evening, if you are lucky enough to get a job in season. Instead of going to Fitchburg, you will be working here the greater part of the day.'" (From Walden, by Thoreau)

A little bit of math, a little bit of history, a little bit of literature, a lot of delight in God's creation. Go check out Henry Hikes to Fitchburg!

And if you find yourselves wanting to read more about the quiet, peaceful Henry, there are 3 more books that follow this one: Henry Builds a Cabin, Henry Climbs a Mountain, and Henry Works, all based on the life of Henry David Thoreau and covering the topics of: what a true home should be, civil disobedience (rejection of slavery), and real work.

1 fellow travelers shared:

Lyn said...

We loved your last two. Can't wait to read this one.

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