OK, we’re traveling back in time one more time. First we went back to 2002 for Penny Lee and Her TV to please my wife. Then we hit 1996 for Jip set in about 1855 to please my daughter. And now let’s go back to that great year of 1965 to please my son.
As far as I can tell Andrew Henry’s Meadow by Doris Burn is an obscure Northwest picture book. Nevertheless, 48 years later it’s still in print and the Pattersons love it. I first ran into it at Powell’s just a few years ago.
Poor Andrew Henry is a middle child who isn’t left alone to make his ingenious inventions around the house like a huge, elaborate, Rube Goldberg-like watering device for one flower or an eagle’s cage in the living room. Someone in his family is always demanding he stop. They don’t understand.
One day he gathers his tools and sets off over the hill, through the swamp and the deep woods. When at last he arrives in a meadow he builds himself a cabin with a roof made of turf. One by one his friends escape to the meadow too. First he builds Alice a tree house. Soon he builds a fishing hut, a castle, a dugout and other structures to suit his friends. They live in this meadow paradise for a few days until all the parents track them down. The parents are overjoyed to have their children back. The reader knows the families will finally give these kids more leeway in building their dreams.
For my son, who is always building forts in the living room with his buddy Jack, this is truly a glorious world Andrew Henry goes and creates.
Hey readers, do you know this book? It has gotten a special place on our shelf!