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The Adventures of Johnny Chuck

Thornton W. Burgess

Book Overview: 

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck is another in the long list of children’s books by conservationist Thornton W. Burgess. In this story, it is spring time and a young chuck’s fancy turns to thoughts of … traveling, protecting one’s turf, finding a new home, and yes, love. Along the way, we learn little lessons about life such as there are good and bad kinds of pride, the importance of keeping secrets and that, even in the animal world, the three most important factors in determining the desirability of property are “location, location, location.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .All about him the birds were singing or busily at work building new homes. And still Johnny Chuck felt unhappy. It was dreadful to feel this way and not have any good reason for it.

One bright morning Johnny Chuck sat on his door-step watching Drummer the Woodpecker building a new home in the old apple-tree. Drummer's red head flew back and forth, back and forth, and his sharp bill cut out tiny bits of wood. It was slow work; it was hard work. But Drummer seemed happy, very happy indeed. It was watching Drummer that started Johnny Chuck to thinking about his own home. He had always thought it a very nice home. He had built it just as he wanted it. From the doorstep he could look in all directions over the Green Meadows. It had a front door and a hidden back door. Yes, it was a very nice home indeed.

But now, all of a sudden, Johnny Chuck became dissatisfied with his home. It was too near the Lone Little Path. Too many people kn. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Ah, young love in the springtime. I could almost visualize the "Nature" program that would follow this same plot as it went along: Johnny Chuck wakes up in springtime refreshed from his hibernation and goes off in search of a mate with whom to start a cute little family of baby chucks. I especial...more

This is oe of the better books of this series. Jonny Chuck goes from being a journey chuck to trying to win the heart of a timid lady chuck even then Johnny Chuck has to be careful of enemies. In the end Johnny Chuck doesn't fill dissatisfied with his house and were he lived anymore. I'll just le...more

The Thornton Burgess series in general is quite an endearing series of children's books, which do a fine job of being readable by young readers and having interesting plots and introducing young people to a variety of animals in a semi-anthropomorphized way. This particular entry, "The Adventures...more


Such a darling little book. 2 chapters at bedtime is just right for 3-10 year olds. Everything is sweet and pure and innocent including wonderful lessons and morals!

Cute story, but not as fun or relatable as Reddy Fox. The kids lost interest quickly. The main character gets married and has a family, not something they relate to. And the situations aren’t nearly as exciting. But there are good lessons at the end, about people (or animals

2.5 stars rounded up to three, but it was a close thing. Close to staying at two, that is.

April second was International Children's Book Day, and this one won out for me this year. I think I have a 1941 version (it looks like it could be that old). It was on my shelf as a child, and I think it wa...more

Incredible! It truly does not get any better when it comes to children's literature.

The Burgess Books

This is a phrase that brings a smile to my face as often as I hear it. As a young child, I would lose myself for hours in the simple world of the wood and pond inhabited by Little Joe Otter, Buster Bear, Grandfather Frog, and terrorized by Farmer Brown's Boy. I can remember the...more

Johnny Chuck is feeling very discontented this spring. When Jimmy Skunk tells him what a nice house he has, he snaps back that Jimmy Skunk can have it—and stomps off in a huff to find another place to live! Not until he meets Polly Chuck does he realize what his real problem was, and now it is so...more

Johnny Chuck,a lovable little fellow, is a favorite among the creatures of pond, field and forest of the Thornton W. Burgess books I have enjoyed since childhood. Rereading more recently, however, I have discovered that common expressions and prejudices that existed in the era when these books we...more

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