I really don't give enough love to American folklore figures here at SurLaLune, so today I will highlight a new book, Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman by Esme Raji Codell and Lynne Rae Perkins. The book is about John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. He was a real person, of course, but his story is so much a part of the American folklore fabric that I wanted to share.
His real name was John Chapman.
He grew apples.
But wait. So what?
Why should we remember him
and read about him
and think about him
and talk about him today,
more than two hundred years after he was born?
Why should we call him a hero?
Esme Raji Codell and Lynne Rae Perkins show us, in eloquent words and exhilarating pictures, why Johnny Appleseed matters now, perhaps more than ever, in our loud and wired and fast-paced world.
When you look through the book at Amazon, you see a story with two modern children traveling in time to observe Appleseed's life. This would make a great companion book to one of my favorite Johnny Appleseed books, Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg. I am a Kellogg fan and always had fun reading Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett for storytime when I was a librarian in California. I'm Southern born and the accent just pours out of me when I read that book outloud. It was always a bit of a shock for my audience. My shelves have a small library of Kellogg's American folklore books. Lovely.