Monday, July 16, 2012

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

In preparation for my trip to the Boston area later this week, the highlight of which will be a visit to Concord to pay homage to Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathanial Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau, I treated myself to a marvelous kids book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, written and illustrated by D.B. Johnson (with help from Thoreau!).

Here's the Amazon blurb...
Inspired by a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, the wonderfully appealing Henry Hikes to Fitchburg follows two friends who have very different approaches to life. When the two agree to meet one evening in Fitchburg, which is thirty miles away, each decides to get there in his own way, and the two have surprisingly different days.
Basically, Henry the bear decides to hike, and along the way he goes for a swim, finds a bird's nest, explores and enjoy the beautiful countryside, while his friend, also a bear, works at various jobs to earn the money to take the train.  The friend arrives first, barely, but the message is clear...Henry had the better idea and the better experience.

Now, I loved this book and enjoyed the illustrations, but I felt a bit odd giving it to my teenage kids to read because the message of working less and enjoying life more is not necessarily the message I want to be giving them as they work at their first jobs and think about what to study in college.  A simple life can be a good life, but all play and no work might make Henry a discontented bear in the long run.

Parenting angst aside, I enjoyed the book and am really looking forward to my visit to Concord.


  1. Having once lived in MA and visited Walden Pond and Fitchburg, this one sounds good to me!

  2. It looks like an adorable book.

  3. What a cute book! I know what you mean though about young people and work. ;-)

    Going to Concord is indeed a pilgrimage. I live nearby and go over there frequently. Wonderful place! I'm a huge Alcott fan and I blog about her life, works and legacy - perhaps you'd like to visit at

    Enjoy your visit!