Known to generations of children and their parents as the Bedtime Story Man, Thornton Waldo Burgess wrote nearly two hundred much loved children's books. They were tales that recounted the doings of delightful characters who inhabited the Green Meadow and the Green Forest. Burgess, who was also an ardent conservationist besides being a writer and journalist shared his love of Nature and respect for all beings who share this earth with us. The Adventures of Buster Bear is a fun children's book that helps children understand that animals and the forest deserve respect and it is also a sincere call for responsible conservationism.
For more than half a century Thornton Burgess continued to delight and inform people about the world around us through his famous newspaper column that was syndicated in many papers all over the country. His books were translated into many languages and enjoyed by people in many countries. Over five years, from 1925-30, he broadcast a popular Nature program on radio, Radio Nature League, another hugely entertaining and educational series. He was also a passionate advocate of the abolition of cruelty to animals and campaigned relentlessly for the banning of such practices as setting up of steel traps.
He first began writing stories for his baby son when his wife died within a year of the child's birth. Later, the popularity of his stories made him take up writing children's stories on a regular basis and he returned frequently to his childhood home in Sandwich. It was here that he really felt at home. Following his death, the Massachusetts Audubon League bought his home in Hampden and established the Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary here.
The Adventures of Buster Bear was first published in 1916. This has charming illustrations by C.S. Corson which add to the book's appeal. Each chapter is a standalone story and contains a host of characters found in other Thornton Burgess books and some new ones too.
Farmer Brown and his Boy are the real villains in the stories as far as conservationist ideas go. Other characters include Little Joe Otter, Sammy Jay, Blacky the Crow and the sage of Green Forest, Grandfather Frog. The Adventures of Buster Bear is indeed an entertaining and informative glimpse of the fast vanishing spaces left on our planet for animals to live in peace and harmony.
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