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Johnny Appleseed

Johnny Appleseed

by Bill Balcziak (Retold by), Jason Millet (Illustrator)

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The life story of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him a legend.


The life story of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him a legend.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Johnny Appleseed, part legend and part history, was a real man who lived in the 1700s. Born in Massachusetts under the name of John Chapman, he became restless to see more and go beyond the territory that he knew. Therefore, he set out by himself on a journey west. Along the way, he grew to appreciate the apple tree and began planting it everywhere. Pretty soon, he became known as Johnny Appleseed by the many settlers he met who were heading west to make a claim on the free land that the government was offering. These same settlers began to tell stories about Johnny, many of which became tall tales, and it was not long before the lines between fact and fiction became blurred. In this retelling of the popular story, Bill Balcziak attempts to provide a picture of what is true about Johnny Appleseed and what is myth. In this addition to the "Tall Tale" series, he also captures a pivotal time in our nation's history and the part this explorer played in it. Packed with an apple muffin recipe, a glossary of terms, facts, Web sites, and a bibliography, this book provides an entertaining and educating look at this fascinating character. 2003, Compass Point Books,
— Sheree Van Vreede
School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-Dull, unattractive presentations in which the lines between fact and fiction are considerably blurred. No one has ever resolved whether John Henry really battled a steam drill and, if he did, where the contest took place. John Chapman's history is better documented, but it's safe to say that much of what we have heard about him is exaggerated. Nonetheless, it is problematic when an author says, as Balcziak does on the first page of Johnny Appleseed, "Some of it is really true!" without elucidating what are verifiable statements and what are products of his imagination. The color illustrations in both of these titles are reminiscent of schlocky comic-book art. The back matter, containing recipes, glossaries, suggested Web sites, and other sources of information, is considerably better than the body of the texts. The good news is that vastly superior books about John Henry, including Ezra Jack Keats's (Turtleback, 1965) and Julius Lester's (Dial, 1994), and a plethora of Johnny Appleseed titles, including Steven Kellogg's (Morrow, 1988), Reeve Lindbergh's (Little, Brown, 1993), Aliki's (S & S, 1971), Margaret Hodges's (Holiday, 1997), Will Moses's (Philomel, 2001), and Patricia Demuth's (Grosset & Dunlap, 1996) are all readily available.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Capstone Press
Publication date:
Tall Tales Series
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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