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I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau



by
Julie Dunlap
illustrated by
Megan Elizabeth Baratta

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Tilbury House Publishers
Imprint
Tilbury House
ISBN
9780884489085
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$23.17   $19.31
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Horn Book Starred Review: An excellent introduction to Thoreau and the turbulent times in which he lived.

School Library Journal Starred Review: An engaging and inspiring biographical title for budding scientists, artists, and environmentalists.

Kirkus starred review: A marvelous life survey of a perennially relevant historical figure.

One of Kirkus' Most Anticipated Children's Book of 2022

"A must read." - Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse 8 Production

Formatted like a nature notebook, this exploration of seasonal changes in Thoreau’s day is also a visual story of his life and times and a gentle introduction to climate change.

I Begin with Spring weaves natural history around Thoreau’s life and times in a richly illustrated field notebook format that can be opened anywhere and invites browsing on every page. Beginning each season with quotes from Thoreau’s schoolboy essay about the changing seasons, Early Bloomer follows him through the fields and woods of Concord, the joys and challenges of growing up, his experiment with simple living on Walden Pond, and his participation in the abolition movement, self-reliance, science, and literature.

The book’s two organizing themes—the chronology of Thoreau’s life and the seasonal cycle beginning with spring—interact seamlessly on every spread, suggesting the correspondence of human seasons with nature’s. Thoreau’s annual records of blooms, bird migrations, and other natural events scroll in a timeline across the page bottoms, and the backmatter includes a summary of how those dates have changed from his day to ours and what that tells us about the science of phenology and climate change.

Megan Baratta’s watercolors are augmented with historical images and reproductions of Thoreau’s own sketches to create a high-interest visual experience. The book includes a foreword from Thoreau scholar Jeffrey Cramer, Curator of Collections for the Walden Woods Project.

“Henry’s Concord Kalendar.” “Thoreau and Climate Change.” “A Kalendar of Your Own.” Resources. Data-collection app suggestions. Historical photographs and reproductions. Full-color illustrations. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

96

Trim Size

9 1/2" x 7"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Lexile

1040L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Aug 2022

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography, Picture Books for Older Readers

Topics

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). Quotations. Nineteenth-century US history. American authors. Naturalists. Spring. Seasons. Nature and the natural world. Concord, Massachusetts. Walden Pond. Abolition. Phenology.   

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4-Henry David Thoreau, more commonly known for his literary works, is revealed to be a multi-layered gentleman in this refreshing biography. Written in descriptive prose and beautifully illustrated with drawings and primary resources, this is an exploration of the convergence of influences that shaped his philosophy and naturalist lifestyle. As an inquisitive and keenly observant child, Thoreau had an ability to use all his senses to connect with the plants, animals, and the flow of the seasons; this ability provided him with the foundation that would eventually aid phenological studies 150 years after his death. Dunlap details Thoreau's upbringing and some of the historical figures (lesser and well-known) who would have an impact on his life and writing. Baratta's glorious illustrations, time lines highlighting Thoreau's observations, and Thoreau's own words evoke a sense that readers are exploring the mind of a man with a deep respect for all life and stages in the cycle. Readers will not only come to appreciate, as Thoreau did, the beauty in nature and simplicity, but feel inspired to treat the earth and its inhabitants with kindness as well. VERDICT An engaging and inspiring biographical title for budding scientists, artists, and environmentalists.-Tamela Chambers

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 4-Henry David Thoreau, more commonly known for his literary works, is revealed to be a multi-layered gentleman in this refreshing biography. Written in descriptive prose and beautifully illustrated with drawings and primary resources, this is an exploration of the convergence of influences that shaped his philosophy and naturalist lifestyle. As an inquisitive and keenly observant child, Thoreau had an ability to use all his senses to connect with the plants, animals, and the flow of the seasons; this ability provided him with the foundation that would eventually aid phenological studies 150 years after his death. Dunlap details Thoreau's upbringing and some of the historical figures (lesser and well-known) who would have an impact on his life and writing. Baratta's glorious illustrations, time lines highlighting Thoreau's observations, and Thoreau's own words evoke a sense that readers are exploring the mind of a man with a deep respect for all life and stages in the cycle. Readers will not only come to appreciate, as Thoreau did, the beauty in nature and simplicity, but feel inspired to treat the earth and its inhabitants with kindness as well. VERDICT An engaging and inspiring biographical title for budding scientists, artists, and environmentalists.-Tamela Chambers

Grades 2-6
Biography Elementary Plus
For Grades 2-6

Fascinating biographies and autobiographies will allow your elementary readers to look into the lives, thoughts, and accomplishments of the individuals who have shaped our world. And with 12 books per year, they'll discover a remarkable person each month.

14 books per Year
$297.36 per Year
Interests
Biographies,Diversity,Nonfiction,Science/STEAM
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Biography Elementary Plus
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