What would it be like to spend a day with Henry David Thoreau, observing and appreciating nature?
Readers are immediately thrust into the world of Thoreau through the experiences of a modern boy who enjoys a day with the great writer from sunrise to dusk. Evocative prose replete with memorable images gives readers a child’s-eye view of Thoreau’s days, capturing the importance and excitement of being at one with nature. Images of a modern boy in basic jeans, T-shirt and sneakers and Thoreau in simple 19th-century garb wandering through the woods, water and meadows surrounding Walden Pond provide a shimmering tableau of the natural world. While the inclusion of both modern and older dress is initially somewhat jarring, the illustrations are closely interwoven with the text, providing keen visuals that are sure to draw in young naturalists. Initial information may have been helpful in providing children with context, but the end pages include biographical information as well as a selection of both Thoreau quotes and Burleigh’s child-friendly interpretations of them. The audience skews a bit on the younger side because of overall tone, but older children will find much to interest them in the subject matter and final pages as well.
A fine introduction to the value of Thoreau and the natural world. (Picture book. 4-9)