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.