Cover image for John and Tom
John and Tom
Lange, Willem, 1935-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Middlebury, VT : Vermont Folklife Center, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm.
When John has an accident while cutting logs in the Vermont woods, Tom, the Morgan horse who is his work partner and friend, uses intelligence and strength to rescue him.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 55709.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Popular North Country yarn-spinner Willem Lange interprets the true tale of a young logger who is saved by his remarkable Morgan horse after an accident in the woods. Luminous watercolors beautifully convey the mutual bond of love and trust between man and animal, while the warmhearted narrative calls out to armchair readers young and old. Concluding activity page. Ages 6-10.

Author Notes

WILLEM LANGE has published three collections of short stories, Okay, Lets Try It Again, Tales from the Edge of the Woods and Where Does the Wild Goose Go?. A regular commentator on both Vermont Public Radio and Vermont Public Television, he received a 2000 Emmy nomination for his TV commentaries. Mr. Lange lives with his wife in Montpelier, Vermont. BERT DODSON is the author and illustrator of the best-selling learn-to-draw classic, Keys to Drawing. He has also illustrated
numerous children's books, including Supergrandpa, Buffalo Thunder and several volumes of the American Adventure Series. Mr. Dodson lives in Bradford, Vermont.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. The latest entry in the Family Heritage series is a dramatic tale based on the true story of a faithful horse that saves his owner's life. A young logger named John sets out one cold November day to fell some trees in the woods surrounding the Vermont farm he shares with his parents. As usual, he takes along his sturdy Morgan horse, Tom, to help haul the logs away, tying him to a nearby tree when he sets to work. John finds himself in a bad situation, indeed, when a pine tree he is sawing slips and pins his foot to the freezing snow cover, leaving him injured and unable to move. In a series of beautifully rendered watercolor spreads, Dodson shows Tom breaking free and summoning every ounce of strength to drag the fallen tree off of John's foot. A heartwarming story, with appeal to animal lovers. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

This addition to the Family Heritage Series once again highlights a true tale of north-country life. John, a young logger, and Tom, his dependable Morgan horse, ply their trade in the woods near their home. One cold day, while John is working, an errant tree pins his foot in the snow. "John often said that Tom was the smartest horse in the world" and it's his four-footed companion who saves him from a chilly demise. Tom chews through his tether to reach his master, follows a series of voice commands to haul the fallen tree away, and ferries John safely home to his worried parents. Lange (Tales from the Edge of the Woods) relates this ultimately uplifting tale with all the sturdy simplicity of a wintry Vermont landscape, while Dodson's (Buffalo Thunder) judicious use of color in his spare watercolors (the red of John's jacket against the snow, for instance) and a tight focus on the action heighten the drama. This book and this series as a whole preserves the memories of a bygone way of life. A brief afterword expands on the tale's origins and suggests ways for readers to collect and archive their own family's animal tales. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-An inspiring story of the special bond between a young logger and his faithful workhorse, set in Vermont in the 1950s. On a cold November day, John is pinned down beneath a fallen tree. When Tom hears the young man calling to him, he responds by biting through his rope and following all of his owner's familiar commands until he frees him. The logger and his horse return safely home and John comments to his father, "-I always take a friend. The best friend anybody could ever have!" The realistic illustrations capture the snowy, cold Vermont winter and the special relationship between the animal and the young man. The warm brown tones of the horse and barn, John's soft green and red clothing, and the dramatic close-ups of the accident and rescue support the straightforward text. This story, based on local history, has a homespun, old-fashioned quality that will provide children with insights into a simpler, quieter lifestyle.-Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.