Children's LiteratureThese short "Rookie Biographies" are perfect for emergent readers. They feature people in the news as well as famous men and women of the past. Johnny Appleseed sounds like a fictional character, but he was a real person. In 1774, John Chapman was born in a log cabin in Massachusetts. As a young boy he spent a lot of time alone and communing with nature. He traveled west to the Ohio Valley and along the way he planted apple seeds. When settlers arrived they found trees with wonderful fruit and they also had Johhny Appleseed, as he was known, around to teach them how to plant and care for the trees and to read to them from the Bible. Kids loved his stories and he in turn seemed to love everything around him. He knew about herbs and helped those who were ill with his folk remedies. He spent fifty years on his mission of planting apple seeds and died at what was then the ripe old age of seventy. Since there were no photographs at that time, the book is illustrated with reproductions of engravings, woodland scenes, pictures of commemorative statues, some original artwork and pictures of contemporary kids enjoying apples. There is a pictorial words to know section at the end of the text, an index and a brief blurb about the author. While the book is a perpetuation of a story that is fairly well known, it does not address what compelled John Chapman to undertake this mission, the complexity of the text is appropriate for the targeted audience. 2003, Children's Press, Ages 5 to 7.
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