Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

by D.B. Johnson Part of the Henry Books

When two friends decide to visit the town of Fitchburg (Massachusetts), each has... read more

When two friends decide to visit the town of Fitchburg (Massachusetts), each has his own idea about the best way to get there. Henry chooses to walk, but his friend would much rather find work to earn train money for the 30-mile journey. “We’ll see who gets there first!” says Henry’s friend. In a story based loosely on the ideals of Henry David Thoreau, readers see that it is the journey, not being first, that can offer the greatest reward. While Henry walks leisurely across the rural 19th century Massachusetts countryside, he has countless opportunities to observe and interact with nature, and to rest when he’s tired. His friend, meanwhile, earns the money for his train fare with one laborious job after another. He does, indeed, arrive in Fitchburg first, but who spent the nicer day? Henry and his friend are depicted as bears. Each two-page spread juxtaposes their contrasting activities in full-page colored pencil and paint illustrations. This story offers wonderful sequencing and great opportunities for discussion. An author’s note gives a biography of Henry David Thoreau. (Ages 7-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

show less