Lifetime: 1874 - 1965 Passed: ≈ 59 years ago


American conservationist, Author


United States

Thornton W. Burgess

Thornton Burgess was an American author, naturalist, and conservationist known for his children's books featuring animal characters. He was born in Sandwich, Massachusetts, in 1874, and grew up in a rural environment, where he developed a deep love and understanding of the natural world.

Burgess was a prolific writer, producing over 170 books and more than 15,000 stories for newspapers and magazines during his lifetime. He is most famous for his series of books featuring the adventures of Peter Rabbit, Reddy Fox, Johnny Chuck, and other animal characters, all of whom live in the Green Meadow and Green Forest.

Burgess's philosophy centered on the importance of nature and conservation. He believed that people should learn to appreciate and respect the natural world, and that it was our responsibility to protect it for future generations. His books were not only entertaining but also educational, teaching children about the behavior and habitats of various animals.

Burgess passed away in 1965 at the age of 91. He is remembered as a pioneer in the field of children's literature and a passionate advocate for conservation. In 1960, he was awarded the Saint Francis of Assisi Award by the New York City Animal Welfare League in recognition of his work in promoting humane treatment of animals.

Some of Thornton Burgess's notable works include "The Adventures of Peter Cottontail," "The Adventures of Reddy Fox," "The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel," and "The Adventures of Grandfather Frog." His books continue to be popular today, with many of them still in print and enjoyed by children all over the world.

A fun fact about Thornton Burgess is that he had a personal menagerie of animals, including a skunk, raccoon, and a red fox that inspired many of the characters in his books. He also wrote a daily newspaper column called "Bedtime Stories," which was syndicated in over 170 newspapers across the country and became wildly popular among children and adults alike.

Books by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack Cover image

The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack

Family Nature Children's Literature Friendship Family Life Environment Danger Animal Stories Interaction Young Readers

It is a children's book that tells the story of Mrs. Quack, a duck who is trying to find a new home for her family. The book was first published in 1917 and has since become a classic in children's literature. In the book, Mrs. Quack is forced to le...

The Adventures of Prickly Porky Cover image

The Adventures of Prickly Porky

Animal Action Adventure Kindness Friendship Forest Humorous Fiction Children's Non-fiction Lesson Consequences

It is an exciting children's book that follows the journey of a porcupine named Prickly Porky. The book was first published in 1916, but its timeless storyline and lovable characters continue to captivate readers of all ages. In the book, Prickly Por...

Tommy and the Wishing Stone Cover image

Tommy and the Wishing Stone

Adventure Fiction Fairy Tale
Morality Power Children Nature Imaginative Kindness Friendship Empathy Fantasy Curiosity Sorrow Magical Unity

Published in 1915, this timeless tale takes young readers on an enchanting adventure filled with friendship, discovery, and the power of wishes. Set in the picturesque Green Forest, the story follows Tommy, a curious and imaginative young rabbit wh...

Blacky the Crow Cover image

Blacky the Crow

Animal Nature Friendship Forest Life Magic Birds Lesson Crow

It follows the adventures of Blacky, a clever and mischievous crow, as he explores the enchanting world of the Green Forest. Written by the beloved author Thornton W. Burgess, this timeless children's classic is filled with memorable characters, valu...

Buster Bear's Twins Cover image

Buster Bear's Twins

Adventure Fairy Tale
Children Nature Exploration Friendship Forest Discovery Wisdom Wildlife Curiosity Twins Classic Literature Bear

In the enchanting world of the Green Forest, where animals of all shapes and sizes reside, a momentous event is about to take place. Buster Bear, the mighty and feared ruler of the woods, is about to become a father. In this book readers on a captiva...

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer Cover image

The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer

Animal Spirit Children Nature Journey Childhood Life Curiosity

Embark on a captivating journey through the enchanting woodlands in "The Adventures of Lightfoot the Deer" by Thornton W. Burgess. As shadows dance beneath the ancient trees, a mystery unfolds that will capture the hearts of young and old alike. Meet...

Old Granny Fox Cover image

Old Granny Fox

Adventure Fiction
Family Animal Beauty Nature Jungle Wisdom Wild West Resilience

In the enchanting world of the Green Forest, a timeless classic unfolds as we follow the cunning and wily Old Granny Fox in Thornton W. Burgess's beloved tale, "Old Granny Fox." This captivating story begins with a hook that beckons readers into the...

The Adventures of Sammy Jay Cover image

The Adventures of Sammy Jay

Adventure Fiction
Animal Nature Reflection Friendship Honesty Trust Children Fiction

In the heart of the Green Forest, where the trees stand tall and the creatures roam free, resides Sammy Jay, a mischievous blue jay with a penchant for adventure. Join Sammy as he navigates the wonders and perils of the forest, encountering a cast of...

Mother West Wind 'Where' Stories Cover image

Mother West Wind 'Where' Stories

Animal Beauty Nature Friends Relationships Fantasy Wits Diversity

Embark on a captivating journey through the Green Meadows with Mother West Wind and her animal friends, where every question finds an answer in their enchanting tales. Delve into the heartwarming world of Mother West Wind, the gentle breeze who carr...

Adventures of Paddy Beaver Cover image

Adventures of Paddy Beaver

The Adventures of Paddy Beaver is another in the long list of children’s books by the conservationist, Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, the industrious and clever Paddy Beaver, a newcomer to the Green Forest, has encounters with Sammy Jay, Jerry Mu...

Old Mother West Wind Cover image

Old Mother West Wind

Thornton Waldo Burgess (January 14, 1874 – June 5, 1965) 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 writ...

Mother West Wind's Children Cover image

Mother West Wind's Children

"You can't fool old Mother Nature. No, Sir, you can't fool old Mother Nature, and it's of no use to try." The animals of the Green Meadows and Green Forest have little adventures while Grandfather Frog tells stories to Mother West Wind's children, t...

Adventures of Johnny Chuck Cover image

Adventures of Johnny Chuck

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck is another in the long list of children's books by conservationist Thornton W. Burgess. In this story, it is spring time and a young chuck's fancy turns to thoughts of … traveling, protecting one's turf, finding a new h...

Adventures of Mr. Mocker Cover image

Adventures of Mr. Mocker

When an innocent blue jay starts talking in his sleep, it's up to him to find out what's going on in this fun, naturalistic, Southern-style children's story. (Summary by Miriam Esther Goldman) Cast: Narration: Marty Kris Mr. Mocker: Gargoyle Unc’...

Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse Cover image

Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse

Danny begins his tale regretting the length of his tail until he is corrected by Mr. Toad. Then he has a series of stalkings by Reddy and Granny Fox. He is captured by Hooty the Owl and escapes mid-flight to Peter Rabbit's briar patch. Peter goes to...

Adventures of Grandfather Frog Cover image

Adventures of Grandfather Frog

Longlegs the Blue Heron felt decidedly out of sorts. It was a beautiful morning, too beautiful for any one to be feeling that way. Indeed, it was the same beautiful morning in which Grandfather Frog had caught so many foolish green flies. Jolly, roun...

Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel Cover image

Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel

Chatterer the Red Squirrel finds himself in trouble again and is forced to abandon his old home. As the search for a new home begins, Chatterer's curiosity gets the better of him and a moment of carelessness causes him to stumble into a far different...

Whitefoot the Wood Mouse Cover image

Whitefoot the Wood Mouse

This is the story of Whitefoot the wood mouse, the most timid and shy creature in all the Green Forest. You see, Whitefoot has many enemies who would love nothing more than to make him their dinner. Despite the many perils Whitefoot often faces, he "...

Adventures of Peter Cottontail Cover image

Adventures of Peter Cottontail

This is the story of Peter Rabbit, a mischievous, but cautious, lagomorph who lives in the Green Meadows. Peter Rabbit begins his adventures with a quest for a new name, since his name is far too common for his taste. Having a new name is not quite w...

Adventures of Old Man Coyote Cover image

Adventures of Old Man Coyote

The Adventures of Old Man Coyote is another in the long list of children's books by conservationist Thornton W. Burgess. In this book, the residents of The Green Pasture and The Green Forest are concerned about a strange newcomer, Old Man Coyote. O...

Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum Cover image

Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum

Another short story for children by the well-known conversationalist and writer, Thornton W. Burgess. This story revolves around Unc' Billy Possum and his adventures.

Adventures of Bobby Coon Cover image

Adventures of Bobby Coon

"In this engaging story, Bobby Raccoon suffers a series of mishaps. Following a bad dream, he bites his own tail, is given a dreadful fright, learns that Farmer Brown's Boy is a kind friend, survives an encounter with Buster Bear, gets a terrible sha...

Mother West Wind's Animal Friends Cover image

Mother West Wind's Animal Friends

This is the 6th compilation of childrens bedtime stories by conservationist and newspaper columnist author Thornton Waldo Burgess. Burgess used his outdoor observations as plots for his stories. The stories involve his earlier developed characters su...

Happy Jack Cover image

Happy Jack

Who would have thought dropping a nut would cause so much trouble? No sooner does Happy Jack the Gray Squirrel go scampering down the tree than he finds himself in trouble with Chatterer, the Red Squirrel -- and then running for dear life -- away fro...

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