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Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend
     

Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend

by Will Moses
 

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The long-enduring American legend of Johnny Appleseed comes to life in the glorious folk illustrations and spirited storytelling of Will Moses. Everyone knows the story of Johnny Appleseed: how he traveled westward across our young country, spreading apple trees wherever he went and wearing outlandish hats, like a soup pot, on his head. But did you know that

Overview


The long-enduring American legend of Johnny Appleseed comes to life in the glorious folk illustrations and spirited storytelling of Will Moses. Everyone knows the story of Johnny Appleseed: how he traveled westward across our young country, spreading apple trees wherever he went and wearing outlandish hats, like a soup pot, on his head. But did you know that Johnny Appleseed was a real person? Born John Chapman in 1774, he grew up in a family of twelve children, and as a young man, struck out to find the frontier. It was along this journey that he discovered the wonders of apple trees, and where he had his life adventures.

In the tradition of his great-grandmother, Grandma Moses, Will Moses's much-loved folk art perfectly illustrates this American tale.

Editorial Reviews

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. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Born in Massachusetts in 1774, the legendary John Chapman was always happiest living off the land beyond the edge of civilization. After a vision in which angels showed him "a shimmering, heavenly community surrounded by beautiful apple trees," he began collecting bags and buckets of apple seeds. At first he used the seeds as trade goods, then began distributing his apple seedlings to poor families and eventually kept moving west, planting trees as he went. Tall tales about his eccentricities rose up among the pioneers, but his love of animals, his generosity, and his strong spirituality were extolled, as well. Although he lived for a while with his sister and her large family, most of his time was spent wandering and starting orchards. By the time in died in 1845, he had planted tens of thousands of apple trees. This fictionalized biography is written in such a lively, conversational style that it sounds as if a storyteller is speaking. Charming watercolor illustrations strongly reminiscent of Grandma Moses, the artist's great grandmother, show busy, bright scenes of frontier life. 2001, Philomel/Penguin Putnam, $16.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer:Patricia Dole
Kirkus Reviews
Many are the available picture-book tales of half-legendary wanderer John Chapman, but this one (not really a picture book) merits consideration, both for its appealing folk-art-style illustrations (Moses is an artistic, as well as genetic, descendant of Grandma Moses), and for its thoughtful prose portrait of a man who, Moses suggests, "represents the best qualities of the American character." The author tucks a few tall-sounding tales into his narrative, but in general sticks closely to the historical record, following Chapman from his early years in Massachusetts, through decades of planting and preaching in Pennsylvania, the Ohio Territory, and, finally, Indiana, where he tended orchards to the last. Ranging from spread-fillers to vignettes, the paintings are nearly all landscapes, with a small, lanky, oddly dressed figure placed amid tapestries of orchards and fields, or paddling along waterways in a birch bark canoe. Just as his apple trees "helped blaze the trail westward," so, avers the author, should his "kindness and humanity, [his] industrious, independent spirit" make him a "beacon to follow" for today's young readers. Make room on the shelf for this slim volume, too. (Biography. 9-11)
From the Publisher
"Delicate folk-art oil paintings capture the eccentric hero as well as America at its bucolic best." (Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399231537
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.02(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile:
NC1170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Delicate folk-art oil paintings capture the eccentric hero as well as America at its bucolic best." (Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author


Painting is as much a part of the Moses family tradition as the family homestead in Eagle Bridge, New York. There Will Moses has painted since he was a little boy, learning firsthand from his grandfather, folk artist Forrest Moses, who learned from his mother, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses. Developing his own folk style, Will has become an internationally beloved artist in his own right, his art displayed in collections throughout the world, including that of the White House.

His first picture book, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a retelling of Washington Irving's famous tale, was published by Philomel in 1995.

Will Moses' studio is at the Mount Nebo Gallery and Farm in Eagle Bridge, where he lives with his wife, Sharon, and their three children.

Painting is as much a part of the Moses family tradition as the family homestead in Eagle Bridge, New York. There Will Moses has painted since he was a little boy, learning firsthand from his grandfather, folk artist Forrest Moses, who learned from his mother, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses. Developing his own folk style, Will has become an internationally beloved artist in his own right, his art displayed in collections throughout the world, including that of the White House.

His first picture book, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a retelling of Washington Irving's famous tale, was published by Philomel in 1995.

Will Moses' studio is at the Mount Nebo Gallery and Farm in Eagle Bridge, where he lives with his wife, Sharon, and their three children.

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