book review

If You Spent the Day with Thoreau At Walden Pond by Robert Buleigh

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This book immediately brought back the memory of another day spent at Walden Pond with my son. The story is a simple look at one of America’s more simple men Henry David Thoreau. 


Thoreau Cover


In 1845 in Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau built a cabin in the woods and lived there alone for two years while he examined the world around him.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.”

walden pond

He spent his days walking the shores of Walden Pond. We visited this wonderful place and I can share with you that it was pouring rain the day we were there! As we walked round the pond, we could see people swimming the whole length of the pond. From what we have heard, some people do this every day as long as the water isn’t frozen.


Henry David Thoreau also grew beans and observed all the plants and wildlife around him. He recorded all of these findings in his notebooks.




This book tells the story of Henry David Thoreau through the eyes of a child. I know how special and magical this place is by experiencing it through the eyes of my child. What if you could spend the day with Henry David Thoreau ? 


Through the pages of this book you now can. There is a special shimmering light at Walden Pond, both on the water and in the surrounding area. Artist Wendell Minor has perfectly captured it, so much so that I was transported back there immediately.

Somethings To Do

  •  If you spent the day with Thoreau you’d wake up at sunrise and watch the sunrise. Take a sunrise walk and watch the world wake-up. What do you see? What can you hear ? What’s the temperature like ? Does it get warmer as the sun comes up ? How does the world wake up where you live ? You can leave a comment and the bottom of this post. I love to see how things are in other places around the world.
  • If you walked with Thoreau you would tend his beans in his bean patch. Plant some green beans of your own and watch them grow. If you’re reading this post in a non-growing season, take some Lima beans and place them in a wet towel in a glass jar and watch them sprout and come alive.
  • Take a walk in the woods together.
  • Listen to the birds. What are they saying ? How many different sort of birds can you hear ?
  • Pick huckleberries, blueberries, or black berries. Then make a yummy cobbler.
  • Lie on your back and watch the clouds. Thoreau called this “Dreaming Awake” time.
  • Lie on your stomach on the ground and watch the ants.


What sort of observing and “Thoreau-like” activities can you think of?

4 thoughts on “If You Spent the Day with Thoreau At Walden Pond by Robert Buleigh

    1. Oh Mia it’s wonderful. You have to go. I’d go during the week or on a rainy day so you get the full “alone” effect. Or early in the morning. Walden and Concord are two of our favorite places. 🙂

  1. Thanks for reviewing this book – I love it! We visited Walden Pond with our children a few years ago, and walked to the original site of his cabin. Have you read the picture books by D.B. Johnson that portray Thoreau (and all other characters) as a bear? Wonderful illustrations! I stopped by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

  2. Strangely, I feel more relaxed after reading your post! To be honest, reading through the summer activities totally reminded me of summers when I was a kid – that is exactly what life was like growing up in a rural area. We felt very connected to nature. It’s so different from my kids’ realities growing up in a large urban setting. Luckily we have so many opportunities to engage with nature because there are so many protected park areas that are driving distance from us. It’s so important! Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop. 🙂

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