The perfect biography to "bite into" at the start of a new school year! Children are sure to be fascinated by the eccentric and legendary Johnny Appleseed, a man who is best known for bringing apple trees to the midwest. Over John Chapman’s lifetime, he saw the country grow and start to spread westward. Traveling alone— in bare feet and sporting a pot on his head!—Johnny left his own special mark planting orchards that helped nourish new communities. His journeys and adventures are illustrated in a hundred black-and-white illustrations.
Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard illuminates the meaning of Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman's life and the environmental and cultural significance of the plant he propagated. Creating a startling new portrait of the eccentric apple tree planter, William Kerrigan carefully dissects the oral tradition of the Appleseed myth and draws upon material from archives and local historical societies across New England and the Midwest. The character of Johnny Appleseed stands apart from other frontier heroes like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, who employed violence against Native Americans and nature to remake the West. His apple trees, nonetheless, were a central part of the agro-ecological revolution at the heart of that transformation. Yet men like Chapman, who planted trees from seed rather than grafting, ultimately came under assault from agricultural reformers who promoted commercial fruit stock and were determined to extend national markets into the West. Over the course of his life John Chapman was transformed from a colporteur of a new ecological world to a curious relic of a pre-market one. Weaving together the stories of the Old World apple in America and the life and myth of John Chapman, Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard casts new light on both. -- James Gilbert, University of Maryland
Johnny Appleseed was a legend even in his own time-stories abounded about the kindhearted woodsman who planted thousands of apple seeds from Pennsylvania to Indiana. The real Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman in a small village in Massachusetts. When he was a young man, he set off for the western frontier and along the way collected bags of apple seeds from cider mills. As John Chapman's apple orchards grew in number, so did the tales of Johnny Appleseed. In this wise and witty story, Will Moses relates the life of a great American folk hero who helped open and tame the wild frontier.
Johnny Appleseed was an important historical figure, well known for planting apple orchards across the new frontier. But he was also a master storyteller! In his own folksy voice, Johnny Appleseed tells his story to a couple of entranced children in this fictionalized Step 2 title. Readers learn how he started planting apple trees—and about some of the myths and true stories of his life. From the Trade Paperback edition.
“Finally, the cliché is peeled away and the essence of this utterly American character is so revealing. John Chapman comes alive here and it is a thrilling experience to escape the specific gravity of the decades of myth” (Ken Burns). This portrait of Johnny Appleseed restores the flesh-and-blood man beneath the many myths. It captures the boldness of an iconic American and the sadness of his last years, as the frontier marched past him, ever westward. And it shows how death liberated the legend and made of Johnny a barometer of the nation’s feelings about its own heroic past and the supposed Eden it once had been. Howard Means does for America’s inner frontier what Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage did for its western one.