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by Reeve Lindbergh; illustrated by Kathy Jakobsen
While most books focus on the larger-than-life, legendary aspects of Chapman's life, this quiet book focuses on the man's devotion, kindness, and respect for all living things. In fact, Publisher's Weekly concluded its review of the book with the following statement: "Too many versions of the Johnny Appleseed legend make him into a superhero; this work shows him as a gentle, religious man on a mission, a lover of the land with a consuming interest in the environment."
Lindbergh's folk art illustrations are "captivating...rendered in deep tones of rustic blues, browns and golds" --a perfect complement to the story. Admittedly, we really like this style of illustration, but even those unfamiliar with the style will pour over these pages in delight!
Editor's Choice Award and Redbook Award winner!
Interest Level: Grade 1-4
DRA Level: 40
Grade Level Equivalent: 4.5
Guided Reading Level: Q
Read-Aloud vs. Individual Reading:
For kids in first to third grade, this book will need to be a read-aloud rather than for individual reading, as children generally do not read on the reading level (difficulty level) of this book until the end of third grade. The majority of fourth graders should be able to read this book independently.
Below are sample spreads from inside this book--to give you an idea of how
much text is on each spread and to show the charming, folk art
illustrations. This is the first spread in the book, and sets
the scene for the story with the following text: "In the early days of the
American frontier, when most of this nation
was still wild, unsettled land, there lived a man of great courage and
gentleness who traveled through the wilderness, planting apple seeds.
His name was John Chapman, though he came to be known to generations of
Americans as 'Johnny Appleseed'. This is one story about his gift to our
And this next spread says "These apple trees were planted here / A century ago / A hundred years of springtime bloom, / A hundred years of snow."
We found two Pinterest boards that are FULL of fun, cute, educational activities to do about Johnny Appleseed. You could use this book as a lead in, to teach kids about John Chapman and his life, and then do one of the many activities that are listed on these curated lists:
Now that you've seen this great book, what would you like to see now? Please note that as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.