Monday, October 24, 2011

Slapped Hen Enjoy

Johnny Appleseed
by Jane Yolen, illus. Jim Burke
(HarperCollins, 2008)
No, this is not a post about chicken abuse. I just wanted to get your attention. "Slapped Hen Enjoy" is an anagram for Johnny Appleseed, the folk hero known for traveling the United States in the early years of this country, spreading apple seeds wherever he went.

What many of us were taught about Mr. Seed is somewhat inaccurate, or so I've read. Hence the title, I suspect, of Jane Yolen's recent picture book biography, Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth. Gorgeous cover painting.

Not surprisingly, there are scads of Johnny Appleseed books out there. (What is surprising is how many of their covers show J. A. striding against a backdrop of countryside.) Here is just a sampling of some of the better known versions, one from each of the past few decades:

1990s

by Patsy Jensen, illus. by Pat Hoggan
(Troll, 1994)

1980s

Steven Kellogg's version
(Morrow, 1988)

1970s

LaVere Anderson, illus. Kelly Oechsli
(Garrard, 1974)
1960s

By Aliki
(Prentice-Hall, 1963)

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