Coretta Scott King Honor Award-Winning Author Lesa Cline-Ransome is back to bring past stories new life on Past Present. In this episode, Lesa celebrates the rich history of her home State of Massachusetts. Then, she takes a closer look at historical figures from her hometown of Malden, Massachusetts, who served as inspiration for her non-fiction picture book, OF WALDEN POND: HENRY DAVID THOREAU, FREDERIC TUTOR, AND THE POND BETWEEN. Learn about these two very different innovators and history makers, the pond they shared, and then listen as Lesa shares a passage from the book.
Remember, take the time to visit some of your home state’s historic sites. You may just be surprised by the stories you find there!
OF WALDEN POND:
Henry David Thoreau, Frederic Tudor, and the Pond Between
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Illustrated by Ashley Benham-Yazdani
ABOUT THE BOOK
From the award-winning author of Before She Was Harriet comes another work of lyrical beauty, the story of Henry David Thoreau and businessman Frederic Tudor—and a changing world.
Thoreau and Tudor could not have been more different from each other. Yet both shared the bounties of Walden Pond and would change the course of history through their writings and innovations.
This study in opposites contrasts the austere philosopher with the consummate capitalist (whose innovations would change commercial ice harvesting and home refrigerators) to show how two seemingly conflicting American legacies could be built side by side.
Oddball/ tax dodger/ nature lover/ dreamer/ That’s what they called/ Thoreau.
Bankrupt/ disgrace/ good for nothing/ dreamer/ That’s what they called/ Tudor.
Celebrated author Lesa Cline-Ransome takes her magnificent talent for research and detail to plumb the depths of these two history-makers. The graceful text is paired with Ashley Benham-Yazdani’s period accurate watercolor and pencil artwork. In winter, readers see Tudor’s men sawing through the ice, the workhorses dragging the ice, and Thoreau observing it all; in spring, summer, and fall, the ice continues its journey across the globe with Thoreau and Tudor writing and reflecting in their respective diaries.
An Author’s Note, which explores how Thoreau’s writings influenced such figures as Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Frost, and Mohandas Gandhi, is included.
ABOUT Lesa Cline-Ransome
Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of almost twenty books for young readers, including Before She Was Harriet and the Finding Langston trilogy. Her work has received a plethora of honors, including dozens of starred reviews, NAACP Image Award nominations, a Coretta Scott King Honor, and a Christopher Award, and has been named to ALA Notable Books and Bank Street Best Children’s Books lists. She lives in Rhinebeck, NY.
ABOUT Ashley Benham-Yazdani
Ashley Benham-Yazdani is a picture book author/illustrator and nature lover. She is passionate about arts education and has taught illustration courses at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and at Towson University.
Her tools of the trade are watercolors, colored pencils, and Photoshop, but she also enjoys embroidery, block printing, and screen printing.
When not pushing pigment or pixels around, Ashley can be found reading, knitting, or running around in the great outdoors. She lives in Davis, CA with her husband and their two children.