September 26 – Johnny Appleseed Day

It’s Johnny Appleseed Day!

This is one of my favorite days because it reminds me of Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade books and activities. John Chapman was born on this day in 1774. We remember him fondly. There are many stories, folktales, and biographies written about him. Here are some of my new and old favorites.


Johnny Appleseed written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Jim Burke (2008)

Jane Yolen does a fantastic job of telling the story of Johnny Appleseed through poetry, prose, and recorded facts. Each spread begins with a short verse followed with a piece of the legend. Below the text is a sentence or two of the confirmed facts. This is an excellent source to explain how legends are born.


Johnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend written and illustrated by Will Moses (2001)

Will Moses retells the story of Johnny Appleseed through pictures and words. He begins his book with an Author’s Note about ‘one of the great characters from American history’. His story is lengthy, for a picture book, but extremely well documented with details supporting the legend. This is another wonderful resource for children to read to understand the relationship between fact and fiction.


Johnny Appleseed written by Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet and illustrated by S.D. Schindler (2001)

Thomas C. Benet, son of Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Benet, had his parents’ poem published in a picture book. The poem was written in 1933, when Thomas Benet was only seven years old. His father, Stephen Vincent Benet won Pultizer Prize, the Roosevelt Medal, and the O. Henry Prize in his lifetime. This poem written so long ago is a beautiful and simple verse illustrated with funny and whimsical artwork. This is definitely one to add to your Johnny Appleseed collection.

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