Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

4.8 9
by D.B. Johnson

See All Formats & Editions

Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau's WALDEN, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is 30 miles away, each decides to get there in his own way -- and they both have surprisingly different days.


Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau's WALDEN, this wonderfully appealing story follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is 30 miles away, each decides to get there in his own way -- and they both have surprisingly different days.

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
An auspicious picture book debut.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond this charming story follows the adventures of two friends who take completely different paths to reach their final destination in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Henry decides to hike the thirty miles through the countryside, exploring nature along the way--he crosses rivers and swamps, carves a walking stick, presses flowers in a book, climbs trees, and finds honey trees and blackberry bushes. While Henry walks all day and enjoys the great outdoors, his friend works around town, trying to make enough money to ride the train to Fitchburg--he sweeps the post office, paints a fence, moves bookcases, and cleans out a chicken house. Although both friends arrive at their destination around the same time, their experiences differ widely. Young readers will enjoy following along as the two stories unfold side-by-side through colorful illustrations and short passages. The author includes clever references to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne in the text and provides interesting biographical information about Thoreau. This wonderful book offers a great introduction to Thoreau's beliefs about nature and life. It will make an excellent addition to any picture book collection! 2000, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8, $15.00. Reviewer: Debra Briatico
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A nicely realized retelling of a short passage from Henry Thoreau's Walden. Henry and his friend decide to go to Fitchburg, a town 30 miles away. "I'll walk," says Henry, but his friend decides to work for the money for a train ticket and see who gets there first. Each subsequent spread marks their progress: "Henry's friend cleaned out Mrs. Thoreau's chicken house. 10 cents./Henry crossed a swamp and found a bird's nest in the grass. 12 miles to Fitchburg." The friend arrives first, barely. "`The train was faster,' he said." "I know," Henry smiled, "I stopped for blackberries." Johnson makes this philosophical musing accessible to children, who will recognize a structural parallel to "The Tortoise and the Hare." The author quotes Thoreau's original anecdote in his endnote. The two friends are depicted as 19th-century bears in the geometric, warm-toned, pencil-and-paint illustrations. Each picture is solidly composed, and although the perspectives may seem somewhat stiff and distracting up close, they work remarkably better from a short distance. The layout and steady pace, as well, make this suitable for storytime. The somewhat open-ended resolution could allow for classroom debate, and is also simply a good ending to a good story.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Karen Carden
[A] beautifully designed and artfully balanced book...The antics and expressions of these bulky competitors add humor to an endearing tale.
The Christian Science Monitor
Peggy A. Sharp
Colorful angular illustrations compare the progress of the two friends on their way to the country town. This friendly competition helps readers better understand the naturalist's view of life and its contrast to the materialistic view.
From the Publisher
"A masterpiece . . .The finest illustrations I've seen in years and years and years." —Daniel Pinkwater, NPR Weekend Edition

"An auspicious picture book debut." —Horn Book Horn Book

"This splendid book works on several levels. Johnson’s adaptation of a paragraph taken from Thoreau’s Walden illuminates the contrast between materialistic and naturalistic view of life without ranting or preaching. . . . [The illustrations] demonstrate Johnson’s virtuosic control of his craft" —Booklist, starred review Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

STAR "A nicely realized retelling of a short passage from Henry Thoreau’s Walden." —School Library Journal, starred review School Library Journal, Starred

A Publishers Weekly Flying Start Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
AD170L (what's this?)
File size:
14 MB
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

D. B. Johnson has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years and has done editorial cartoons, comic strips, and conceptual illustrations for magazines and newspapers around the country. Mr. Johnson’s first picture book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, was a New York Times bestseller and a Publishers Weekly bestseller, as well as an American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.” Henry Hikes to Fitchburg also won numerous awards, including the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Books and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Linda, live in New Hampshire.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Kid db nook bd kid" <br> The map: 1 map <br> 2 rules <br> 3 ranks <br> 4 shop <br> 5 light town entrance <br> 6 light town center <br> 7/8 light town houses <br> 9-10 light town mayor room <br> 11 forest <br> 12 dragon cave <br> 13 enchanted forest <br> 14 thornland <br> 15 twilight town enterance <br> 16 twilight town center <br> 17/18 twilight town houses <br> 19-20 twilight town mayor room <br> 21 windy mountain <br> 22 dark forest <br> 23 rabbit/deer hunting place <br> 24 werewolf forest <br> 25 night town entrance <br> 26 night town center <br> 27/28 night town houses <br> 29-30 night town mayor room <br> 31 Emerald elementary school <br> 32 Abysista middleschool <br> 33 Maleficent highschool <br> 34 colledge <br> 35 WoodClan hunting territory <br> 36 WoodClan camp <br> 37 WinterClan hunting territory <br> 38 WinterClan camp <br> 39 EvilClan hunting territory <br> 40 EvilClan camp <br> 41 vampire hangout <br> 42 dragon hive <br> 43 dragon hive (2) <br> 44 horse herd <br> 45 deer herd <br> 46 mlp ponyville <br> 47 bunnicula's castle <br> 48 the dark mountain <br> 49 the great wolf den <br> 50-53 darkness wolfpack <br> 54 the valcano <br> 55 bios
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sonds nice i ges
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a terrific series of books. The illustrations are terrific, and it's a great way to introduce children to great literature. There are five books in the series, all of which are based on Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden. By far the best is Henry Climbs a Mountain, but the rest are excellent as well. What is especially nice, is that even though the books are simplified, they still capture much of the Thoreau-vian spirit - although a bit more whimsical. Also recommended Trouble with Henry : A Tale of Walden Pond written by Deborah O'Neal and Angela Westengard and illustrated by S. D. Schindler
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Henry is so fun and smart. He teaches his friend an important lesson in a fun way. The drawings are great too. I want to know more about Henry so it made me read another book too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...or anywhere else! We received this book as a gift for my son's third birthday. I hadn't even know it existed prior to that, but we are so happy that we now own this book. My grandmother was born and raised in Fitchburg and lived in the beautiful countryside depicted in the illustrations. I swam in Walden Pond and Hiked in Walden Woods as a child. This book helps my son to relate to some of the history of our family. I'm sure other New England families would find their own coincidences!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Henry Hikes To Fitchburg is about two bears who take a day trip from Concord to Fitchburg. Henry goes on foot, while his friend takes the train. The delightfull illustrations of D.B. Johnson together with his amusing text, tell a wonderful story of how these two bears encounter quite different adventures before reaching their destination at the end of the day.