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Old Mother West Wind

Thornton W. Burgess

Book Overview: 

Thornton Waldo Burgess was a conservationist and author of children’s stories. He loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books. Many of his outdoor observations in nature were used as plots for his stories. In his first book, “Old Mother West Wind,” the reader meets many of the characters found in later books and stories. These characters include Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Bobby Raccoon, Joe Otter, Grandfather Frog, Billy Mink, Jerry Muskrat, Spotty the Turtle and of course, Old Mother West Wind and her Merry Little Breezes. Note to parents of very small children: in Chapter 15, little Tommy Trout gets eaten by a pickerel.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .They were very, very proud of them and took the greatest care of them, brushing them carefully ever so many times a day.

There was a Jimmy Skunk then, just as there is now, and he was head of all the Skunk family. Now this Jimmy Skunk was very proud and thought himself very much of a gentleman. He was very independent and cared for no one. Like a great many other independent people, he did not always consider the rights of others. Indeed, it was hinted in the wood and on the Green Meadows that not all of Jimmy Skunk's doings would bear the light of day. It was openly said that he was altogether too fond of prowling about at night, but no one could prove that he was responsible for mischief done in the night, for no one saw him. You see his coat was so black that in the darkness of the night it was not visible at all.

Now about this time of which I am telling you Mrs. Ruffed Grouse made a nest at the foot of the Great Pine and in it she laid fifteen be. . . Read More

Community Reviews

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 ha

Read aloud with my 6 & 8 year old. My kids & I are so in love with the magical world Burgess has created. I wish all kids could experience these. I know every Burgess book I read to my children will be a core memory of their childhood.

Old Mother West Wind has several children known as the Merry Little Breezes, who love to involve themselves in the affairs of the animals who live in and around the forest, including: Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Bobby Coon, Little Joe Otter, Grandfather Frog, Billy Mink, Jerry Muskrat, and

Finished reading aloud to my kids, my 4yo boy connected with it more than my daughter & it took us awhile to get into it. But the stories they loved they REALLY loved & asked for over & over (such as “Johnny Chuck finds the Best Thing in the World” and “Peter Rabbit Plays a Joke”)

Read for Year 0.5 with Asher in 2016.
Read for Y0.5 with Asa in 2023.

Magical! An incredible book, one I wish I had known about sooner. This captivated the attention of each of my children (ages 2-9), and they begged for more each time I read aloud. "Johnny wood chuck chuck chuck, Johnny Woodchuck". Looking forward to other stories by this author.

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