Books, Education, History

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Henry and the Cannons

Wow, it’s been awhile. My last PPBF post was in October! Yikes.

Yesterday’s blizzard in Boston and New York inspired this PPBF pick. Stay warm everyone! (I probably shouldn’t tell you it’s in the 60s in California.)

TITLE: Henry and the Cannons


PUBLICATION INFO: Roaring Book Press, January 2013

ISBN: 978-1596432666

SOURCE:  Library


GENRE: nonfiction


“It was the winter of 1775. The American Revolution had begun, and things weren’t going well for the Patriots of Boston, Massachusetts.”

From the publisher: “Before Washington crossed the Delaware, Henry Knox crossed Massachusetts in winter—with 59 cannons in tow.

In 1775 in the dead of winter, a bookseller named Henry Knox dragged 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston—225 miles of lakes, forest, mountains, and few roads. It was a feat of remarkable ingenuity and determination and one of the most remarkable stories of the revolutionary war. In Henry and the Cannons the perils and adventure of his journey come to life through Don Brown’s vivid and evocative artwork.”

THEMES/TOPICS: history, nonfiction

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I’m working on a slice-of-history picture book and used HENRY AND THE CANNONS to study form and structure. Much like Barb Rosenstock’s THE CAMPING TRIP THAT CHANGED AMERICA, this book focuses on one episode in American history and shows how it connects to a larger story.


Don Brown found an unsung hero, as there’s little for students about Henry Knox on the Web. Here are a few sites:

  • The Knox Museum in Maine has several Revolutionary War lesson plans on its education site.
  • The Library of Congress has a lesson plan built around a letter from General George Washington to Henry Knox.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution exhibit about Knox.
  • Travel the Knox Trail in the Hudson River Valley (but probably not today due to the weather.)

You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!

18 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Henry and the Cannons”

  1. Love your pick, Kirsten! I’m thinking this will be a great book for my grandson who is 5. I’ve also not done a lot of PPBF posts lately…our BIG move got in the way.:) But now we live with our grandson…so all is great! Looking forward to enjoying your posts in 2014! Happy New Year to you and your family.:)

  2. Thanks for blogging about this book. I put it on my Amazon Wish List; my son would like it. Plus, I too, am studying pb biographies. I love it when u can download them to Kindle Readers.

  3. This sounds like a winner. I love historical fiction — especially since it “focuses on one episode in American history and shows how it connects to a larger story.” Great example.

  4. I remember learning about this in Social Studies last year. I like this time period. 🙂 (and 60F??? Hey – can you lodge a family of four? The weather where I am is supposed to get around -7F tomorrow. 🙂 (and I mean that -7F!))

  5. I look forward to your posts about historical/non fiction picture books, they are always so informative and a great guide for me and my attempts at writing historical picture book fiction.

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