Non Fiction Review: I Begin With Spring

I Begin with Spring by Julie Dunlap

I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau
by Julie Dunlap, Megan Elizabeth Baratta (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars

When Henry David Thoreau was a boy, he explored the forests and meadows and ponds surrounding his beloved home in Concord, Massachusetts. This book gives us a look into his writings, his life, and the nature that inspired him.

The illustrations are beautiful. Some of them are sketches and maps from Thoreau’s own notebooks. The sketches of birds, plants, and animals are all beautifully and delicately drawn.

It is definitely interesting to read about Thoreau and his life experience out in the woods surrounding Walden Pond. His house was a station on the Underground Railroad. He helped to catalog and record dozens of species of plants and birds and animals. He knew all the birds individual songs and their calls. This book captures the slow and thoughtful nature of his ramblings through the woods, but also the fierce beliefs that he upheld even when he was thrown into jail for them.

I was grateful that this book doesn’t give the author’s opinion about Thoreau, but approaches each subject with the unbiased facts. In this way, difficult subjects like slavery, Darwin’s theory of evolution, religion, and climate change are touched on, telling what Thoreau wrote about these subjects, but the reader is left to make their own conclusions.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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