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Henry Builds a Cabin

1 rating: 5.0
A book by D.B. Johnson

When Henry gets a bee in his bonnet to build a cabin in the woods, his friends all help out--mostly with advice. Henry, a bear character based on 19th-century writer Henry David Thoreau, hears from his pal Emerson as they raise the beams. "Henry," he … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: D.B. Johnson
Genre: Children's Books
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
1 review about Henry Builds a Cabin

A whimsical and delightful book about Henry David Thoreau as an eccentric bear

  • May 6, 2008
Henry Builds a Cabin is a delightful little book, that playfully riffs on themes from Henry David Thoreau's classic work "Walden, or, Life in the Woods." Henry decides to build a small cabin along the side of Walden pond, and his friends Emerson, Alcott and Lydia worry that it won't be big enough. He reminds them, gently, that there is space enough outside, and that we live narrow lives when we consider that we can only be at home when we are indoors and confined.

The illustrations are nice, a whimsical variation on cubist style. What is most impressive is how simply the story is told and how much of Thoreau's character and background and thinking the author is able to pack into just a few easy sentences. Johnson is clearly well-versed in Thoreau's background, and clearly admires him -- and at the same time treats his story with a light and silly touch that is very appropriate for a children's book. Highly recommended.

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