Thornton W. Burgess was a conservationist and prolific author of children's books. His gently humorous stories about the animals of the meadows and woods teach little lessons about getting along with others; they are perfect bedtime stories for small children. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden)
January 24th 1917
by Amereon Limited
(first published 1917)
My 7 yr old gave these books a 5. I agree. "His books are awesome' she says.I liked the way morals were told in an entertaining way. I bet my daughter didn't feel she was being moralized at because she wanted to hear the whole book. I've tried others that had a distinct 'moral' or 'value' and she hates it.(Books that go ... is thankful or ... learns to be honest. blah.
Burgess books are interesting entertaining and a good read. Hopefully the little lessons learned by the animals were also learnedMy 7 yr old gave these books a 5. I agree. "His books are awesome' she says.I liked the way morals were told in an entertaining way. I bet my daughter didn't feel she was being moralized at because she wanted to hear the whole book. I've tried others that had a distinct 'moral' or 'value' and she hates it.(Books that go ... is thankful or ... learns to be honest. blah.
Burgess books are interesting entertaining and a good read. Hopefully the little lessons learned by the animals were also learned and put away in the back of my daughter's mind!
But if not, that's ok. A book is meant to entertain and if it did that, that works for me.
They are a little 'old-fashioned' meaning the sun is called: Mr. round red jolly sun, the wind is Old Mother West Wind, a breeze is One of Mother West Wind's Children, the Merry Little Breezes etc. Quaint and not exactly science but endearing nonetheless. But other than that these books are science in story form. The stories are about real life things that frogs or bears or skunks do or could do. Unlike most books with animals as main characters where they learn to ride bikes, win the spelling bee at school etc. Beginning animal lore for young children. Or budding animal lovers.
If you miss any of these from your local library many are also on Gutenberg's free books site.
Personally I think that these should be re-released with new covers and realistic pictures so kids will read them again. After looking up Amazon, it seems they have been re-released in paperback form.
The books themselves:
Mother West Wind 'When' Stories: 16 stories about how different animals and birds acquired a special attribute- like Hummer's long beak, or Bat's ability to fly. Often these special traits came from Mother Nature as a reward for courage, industriousness or gratitude.
Morals/ Values in the stories: courage, industriousness, gratitude, laziness, pride, being a sneak.
Mother West Wind's Children: The Merry Little Breezes are a curious group. They keep asking Grandfather Frog to tell them stories about why things are the way they are. Grandfather explains to them why Hooty the Owl doesn't come out during the day, why Bobby Coon washes his food, why Striped Chipmunk has pockets in his cheeks.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: Cheaters & thieves don't win, don't tell false tales, industry & hard work are rewarded, laugh at self- don't be a cry baby.
The Dear Old Briar Patch: The story of goings-on in the Briar Patch of Peter Rabbit. Mrs. Peter has babies but doesn't tell Peter. Why not?
Bob White: The story of Bob White (aka quail) and his family as they try to keep hidden from their many predators. One day little bob white is shot by a hunter. What will happen to him after his family flies away from the hunter?
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: Cheerfulness, wise planning, keeping secrets, anti-hunting for fun sentiments.
Bobby Coon: Poor Bobby awakes from his winter nap to find his tree being chopped down! He is injured in the fall but taken good care of by Farmer Brown' Boy His trial are not yet over. Bobby must find a new home but that is harder than he thinks.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: helping others, not worrying needlessly, losing your temper.
Old Mother West Wind: A group of stories with Mother West Wind or her Little Breezes helping the animals of the Meadow and forest. A couple of 'how the xxx got/ lost zzz' stories also that were quite entertaining.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: vanity, friendship, contentment, helpfulness.
Buster Bear: Buster moves to the Green Woods. This doesn't please the other animals because he takes 'their' fish, and they are frightened of him. But when the animals find out that Farmer Brown's Boy is afraid of Buster, they look at him with new eyes...until they find out the next personality trait Buster shows.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: temper, new friends come to the neighborhood.
Danny Meadow Mouse: Danny gets upset because he has a short tail. He also gets caught by Hooty the Owl, who wants him for dinner.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: greed, anger, envy, kindness, friendship, look before you leap.
Grandfather Frog: He decides it's time for him to see more of the world. A little risk keeps life exciting. He has some exciting adventures before discovering 'there's no place like home'.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: greed, mischieviousness, thoughtlessness, patience.
Old Man Coyote: Something is making a new sound in the Green Meadows/ Green Forest. The animals don't know what it could be. When it is discovered who has moved in, Granny Fox is determined to oust them from HER feeding grounds. Granny is in for a surprise because this stranger isn't easy to fool.
Morals/ values/ lessons intertwined in the book: courage, resisting temptation, good planning(less) (less)...more
Thornton W. (Waldo) Burgess (1874-1965), American author, naturalist and conservationist, wrote popular children's stories including the Old Mother West Wind (1910) series. He would go on to write more than 100 books and thousands of short-stories during his lifetime.