cover image Folks Call Me Appleseed John

Folks Call Me Appleseed John

Andrew Glass. Doubleday Books, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32045-0

Johnny Appleseed himself narrates this tall tale of some winter adventures on the frontier with Nathaniel, his young half-brother from Massachusetts. Low on food, he leaves Nathaniel snug in the hollow sycamore tree that serves as home, and sets off in his canoe. A journey among ice floes leads to other dramatic incidents, among them an encounter with a wounded wolf. Upon his return, he meets some Indian braves, who, it turns out, have been helping Nathaniel. Glass's (Charles T. McBiddle) pleasing vernacular breathes atmosphere into his tale: when he meets the wolf, for example, she gives him a look full of ``hatred and suspicion,'' but, says Appleseed John, ``I personally have always been on the best of terms with God's wild creatures, and my name, it seems, is widely known among them.'' He matches the rough-hewn tone with oil paintings that have been scraped and drawn on. Their homespun, almost unfinished appearance notwithstanding, they express a variety of moods, and their energy rises to the level of Glass's dynamic subject. A substantial note on the life of John Chapman-a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed-concludes this robust volume. Ages 6-10. (Aug.)