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Monday, September 7, 2009

Johnny Appleseed

Oh the Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me, the things I need
The sun and the rain and the apple trees
The Lord is good to me

Remember that prayer song? Maybe your kids say it now at meals. It’s the Johnny Appleseed prayer. Johnny Appleseed is a beloved, American frontiersman. Fact or Fiction? Well, a little of both. He was a true person born John Chapman on Sept. 26, 1774. He was a gentle spirit, loved children and animals, and could chop a tree better than any man around. He was a storyteller and probably a charming person who won the hearts of many. So many, that people began retelling his stories. He has been credited for planting a substantial amount of apple trees in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. He became so well-known that his character and stories became a romanticized folktale.

Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale Retold and Illustrated by Steven Kellogg is a picture book that is a fairly simplistic synopsis of his character and gives an idea of what pioneer life was like. The pictures are very detailed and almost makes life on the frontier look fairly easy. I own several books illustrated by Steven Kellogg, and all of them are pretty good. Many books with this kind of history tend to be really wordy, and this book isn’t like that at all. Ages 3+

There are several more picture books available about Johnny Appleseed. Sounds like a neat story you could tell your children in September for back to school. I always think of apples in September and early October. Perhaps you can take your children to an apple orchard to pick apples, drink cider and read about the legendary Johnny Appleseed!

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