Rhymed text and illustrations relate the life of John Chapman, whose distribution of apple seeds and trees across the Midwest made him a legend and left a legacy still enjoyed today.
There is no lack of books about Jon Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, but this is an outstanding addition to the collection. Lindbergh's ( The Midnight Farm ; Benjamin's Barn ) poem tells the story of one man's crusade to spread apple seeds from Massachusetts to the Midwest. Jakobsen's captivating illustrations, rendered in deep tones of rustic blues, browns and golds, are reminiscent of detailed folk art paintings as they depict Johnny on the road, planting and harvesting, talking with settlers. On facing pages borders fashioned like patchwork quilt squares enrich the tale with their minute details. Too many versions of the Johnny Appleseed legend make him into a superhero; this work shows him as a gentle, religious man on a mission, a lover of the land with a consuming interest in the environment. Ages 4-9. (Sept.)