Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Spring 2000 Picture Books
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Author: D. B. Johnson
Illustrator: D. B. Johnson
ISBN: 0-395-96867-4
Hardcover Price: $15.00
This cheery first picture book, with appealing full-page pictures in colored pencil and paint, is a variation on the old cautionary tale about the tortoise and the hare. Two bear chums decide to make a trip to Fitchburg. Henry will hoof the distance (some 30 miles), while his nameless friend opts to work until he has "the money to buy a ticket to ride the train to Fitchburg." In leisurely fashion, Henry wades across the Sudbury River, presses ferns and flowers in the pages of a book he is carrying, walks atop stone walls, makes a raft to paddle up the Nashua River and, finally, within a stone's throw of his destination, stops to eat his way through a blackberry patch. Meanwhile his earnest friend works diligently-- moving books, filling woodboxes, sweeping the post office, pulling weeds, etc.-- in order to earn the necessary 90-cent fare to Fitchburg. Each bear achieves his goal, Henry losing the race but gaining a number of happy memories and a pail of blackberries for his train-traveling friend. Children will enjoy the slow-paced contest and probably bet on the wrong bear to win.
Selma G. Lanes   ©2000 Parents' Choice

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