Henry Builds a Cabin
Henry Builds a Cabin  -     By: D.B. Johnson
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Hardcover
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Henry Builds a Cabin

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Hardcover

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Stock No: WW132015


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Product Description

How big does a home really need to be? When Henry decides to build a cabin for himself in the woods, he gets some help and a lot of advice from his friends. But Henry, being Henry, has his own ideas, and he sets about building his house as a bird builds its nest. As he adds everything he thinks his cabin needs, Henry's new home ends up being a lot bigger than it looks! Inspired by the life of Henry David Thoreau, and illustrated with nature-filled paintings by author and artist D. B. Johnson, Henry Builds a Cabin is a thoughtful and beautiful meditation on what a home can be. For ages 4-8.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Vendor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0618132015
ISBN-13: 9780618132010
Ages: 4-8

Publisher's Description

How big does a home really need to be? When Henry decides to build a cabin for himself in the woods, he gets some help and a lot of advice from his friends. But Henry, being Henry, has his own ideas, and he sets about building his house as a bird builds its nest. As he adds everything he thinks his cabin needs, Henry’s new home ends up being a lot bigger than it looks!

Inspired by the life of Henry David Thoreau, and illustrated with nature-filled paintings by author and artist D. B. Johnson, Henry Builds a Cabin is a thoughtful and beautiful meditation on what a home can be.

Author Bio

D. B. Johnson has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years and has done editorial cartoons, comic strips, and conceptual illustrations for magazines and newspapers around the country. Mr. Johnson’s first picture book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, was a New York Times bestseller and a Publishers Weekly bestseller, as well as an American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.” Henry Hikes to Fitchburg also won numerous awards, including the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Books and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Linda, live in New Hampshire.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-Through striking illustrations and a minimum of words, Johnson, the author/illustrator of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (Houghton, 2000), offers another chapter in the life of nature-lover Henry David Thoreau. Revealing a fine sense of economy, Thoreau (in the form of a bear) builds a cabin with room for only the essentials: a bed, a table, a desk, and three chairs. He purchases used materials to save money and incorporates the outdoors as an extension of his living space: a sunny spot nearby becomes his library and the vegetable garden is his dining room. The remarkable, quirky, and somewhat kaleidoscopic pictures depict the building's progress from drawing plans to finished cabin. The colored-pencil and paint illustrations follow the story line in fascinating detail. The tale's end finds the bear rushing through a summer rain to the shelter of his perfectly sized home. Thoreau's appreciation for nature is highlighted in the depiction of trees, pond, and rolling hills, while a wide array of animals is seen in the background. This early lesson illustrates to youngsters that you don't need much to have everything you need.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

This worthy sequel to Henry Hikes to Fitchburg rewards repeat visits and inspires a joyful respect for nature. Johnson again conjures the practical spirit of Thoreau and venerates simple living. Walden's chapter on "Economy," complete with a budgeted list of building materials, generates the tale of Henry, a patient bear outfitted in a broad-brimmed farm hat and an outdoorsman's warm clothes. In early spring, with heaps of snow melting on the forest floor, Henry diagrams his dream house, a one-room cabin. "He borrow[s] an ax and cut[s] down twelve trees," hews the pine logs into thick posts for the cabin's frame, and constructs his walls from the weathered boards and windows of "an old shed." His thrifty ways and careful measurements indicate his conservationist approach, and his steady progress could inspire a present-day building project. When friends like Emerson and Alcott pronounce the cabin "too small," Henry replies, "It's bigger than it looks." He proudly guides them to a vegetable garden ("This will be my dining room") and a winding path to the pond ("This will be the ballroom"). The conclusion finds Henry happily lolling outdoors in his "library," resting his feet on the windowsill; he gets under his roof only when it rains. Johnson's singular illustrations of the changing seasons exhibit the planed surfaces of cubist paintings. Each scene sparkles as if viewed through multifaceted glass, and eagle-eyed readers will spot New England species like jays, kingfishers, foxes and red squirrels darting around the peripheries. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"Johnson's singular illustrations of the changing seasons exhibit the planed surfaces of cubist paintings. Each scene sparkles as if viewed through multifaceted glass." Publishers Weekly, Starred

"This novel way of looking at living space--outdoors as well as in--will appeal to children's sense of logic, which often defies convention. Well balanced structurally and excellent for reading aloud, the text offers a new outlook as well as a good story." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"Through striking illustrations and a minimum of words...this early lesson illustrates to youngsters that you don't need much to have everything you need." School Library Journal

"Johnson captures Thoreau's rebellious spirit in simple text and lively art." Riverbank Review

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