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'Henry Climbs a Mountain'

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'Henry Climbs a Mountain'

Arts & Life

'Henry Climbs a Mountain'

D.B. Johnson Returns With a Thoreau-ly Charming Children's Book

'Henry Climbs a Mountain'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1555077/1555359" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

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NPR's ambassador to children's literature, Daniel Pinkwater, brings in the latest book by one of his favorite author/illustrators, D.B. Johnson.

Henry Climbs a Mountain is the third in a series of books featuring a bear based on naturalist Henry David Thoreau.

Pinkwater has special praise for Johnson's clever introduction of Thoreau's ideas of freedom. He also points to the book's broad appeal and "smart art," saying he gets tired of books assuming children are uninterested in the finer aspects of well-crafted illustration.

Johnson's pictures hint at American cubism and landscape artists of the early 20th century, while incorporating details of clothing and architecture that can be appreciated by readers both young and old.

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