HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Johnny Appleseed
Author: Patricia Brennan Demuth
Illustrator: Michael Montgomery
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers, 1996
ISBN-13: 978-1442006409 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1442006404 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0448411309 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 044841130X (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-6
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Demuth, Patricia Brennen. Johnny Appleseed (published in 1996 by Penguin Young Readers). Since I am from Ohio and my wife is from Indiana, areas in which “Johnny Appleseed” was active, our boys have read several books on this interesting historical character. We have the biography in the Sowers Series from Mott Media for older readers by David R. Collins which provides the real details of Johnny Appleseed’s, and the picture book for reading aloud to toddlers by Steven Kellog which emphasizes the legends surrounding Johnny Appleseed. But author Patricia Brennen’s All Aboard Reading level 3 book from Penguin Young Readers, which we checked out of the library for our older son Mark to gain some extra reading practice in connection with his history studies, is a good biography for beginning readers.
Most people are somewhat familiar with the story. With a bag of seeds and a pot on his head, John Chapman set out from Pennsylvania and went to what was then the West to plant apple trees, making a lot of friends and planting a lot of trees so that pretty soon, people started to call him Johnny Appleseed. Demuth shares some of the most appealing facts about Chapman’s life, such as his enjoyment of nature and, of course, planting the seeds for apple trees in the wilderness. Illustrator Michael Montgomery’s artwork includes several double-page spreads which are simple but beautiful and effectively portray the period with covered wagons moving west and log cabins. With few lines per page, large type, easy words, lots of repetition, and pictures with visual cues, it can be read independently or aloud.