Welcome to Burgess Book Lessons

Burgess Book Lessons: Discussion, Activity, and Lesson Ideas for books by Thornton W. BurgessThanks for visiting us!

Burgess Book Lessons was created to give homeschoolers and elementary/middle school teachers a resource for teaching kids the wonderful lessons derived from the classic literature of Thornton W. Burgess.  His lovable animal characters find themselves in all kinds of sticky situations and each story provides an opportunity to teach about important character traits that we can develop in ourselves and our kids.  The stories will also create a curiosity and love of animals, which is why we have included brief summaries, photos, and videos of many of the animals brought to life in these books.  This site will provide you with lesson ideas and activities as well as soon-to-be-released ebooks that will aide in reading comprehension and discussions.  Please be patient as we add new content and resources to enjoy while reading these endearing stories.

Feel free to make comments and suggestions either using the contact form or comment section found below. Join our email list to be notified as soon as new content is available!

We are currently building pages for the following:

  • The Adventures of Johnny Chuck
  • The Burgess Animal Book for Children
  • The Burgess Bird Book for Children

Follow us on Pinterest!  You can find many more ideas and activities posted to our boards!


burgessphotoThornton Waldo Burgess (1874-1965) was a conservationist and author, who wrote over 100 books and thousands of newspaper columns over his lifetime.  As a boy, he spent hours outside in nature exploring the woods and meadows near his home.  As a young father and widower, Burgess wrote letters to his son who was spending time staying with relatives.  In these letters he included the bedtime stories that became the inspiration for his fantastic and lovable woodland characters that lived within the Green Meadow, Green Forest, and Smiling Pool.  These animal books are filled with adventure, humor and life lessons that have been enjoyed for generations.

Read more about Thornton W. Burgess here.



Below is a list of some of the popular books written by Thornton Burgess. We hope to include lesson/teaching guides for many of these books.  As we add information, the titles will become clickable for viewing ideas, activities and other teaching resources to create a lasting love of literature.


Bride’s Primer 1905
Old Mother West Wind 1910
Mother West Wind’s Children 1911
Baby Possum Has a Scare 1912
Baby Possum’s Queer Voyage 1912
Mother West Wind’s Animal Friends 1912
The Boy Scouts of Woodcraft Camp 1912
Little Animal Stories for Little Children 1913
Mother West Wind’s Neighbors 1913
The Adventures of Johnny Chuck 1913
The Adventures of Reddy Fox 1913
The Boy Scouts on Swift River 1913
Jack Frost Helps Paddy the Beaver 1914
Jerry Muskrat Wins Respect 1914
Jumper the Hare Cannot Sleep 1914
Peter Rabbit Puts on Airs 1914
The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat 1914
The Adventures of Mr. Mocker 1914
The Adventures of Peter Cottontail 1914
The Adventures of Unc’ Billy Possum 1914
The Boy Scouts on Lost Trail 1914
Unc’ Billy Possum Has a Fright 1914
Mother West Wind “Why” Stories 1915
The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel 1915
The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse 1915
The Adventures of Grandfather Frog 1915
The Adventures of Sammy Jay 1915
The Bedtime Story Calendar 1915
Tommy and the Wishing Stone 1915
The Boy Scouts in a Trapper’s Camp 1915
Tommy’s Wishes Come True 1915
Mother West Wind “How” Stories 1916
The Adventures of Buster Bear 1916
The Adventures of Old Man Coyote 1916
The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad 1916
The Adventures of Prickly Porky 1916
Mother West Wind “When” Stories 1917
The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver 1917
The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack 1917
The Adventures of Happy Jack 1918
Mother West Wind “Where” Stories 1918
The Adventures of Bobby Raccoon 1918
The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk 1918
Happy Jack’s Thrift Club 1918
Mrs. Peter Rabbit 1919
The Adventures of Bob White 1919
The Adventures of Ol’ Mistah Buzzard 1919
The Burgess Bird Book for Children 1919
Bowser the Hound 1920
Old Granny Fox 1920
The Burgess Animal Book for Children 1920
Lightfoot the Deer 1921
Tommy’s Change of Heart 1921
Blacky the Crow 1922
Buster Bear Invites Old Mr. Toad to Dine 1922
Grandfather Frog Stays in the Smiling Pool 1922
Whitefoot the Wood Mouse 1922
The Adventures of Buster Bear’s Twins 1923
The Burgess Flower Book for Children 1923
Billy Mink 1924
The Adventures of Little Joe Otter 1925
The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat At Home 1926
The Christmas Reindeer 1926
Frightened Baby 1927
A Great Joke on Jimmy Skunk 1927
A Woe-Begone Little Bear 1927
An Imp of Mischief 1927
Cubby Bear Has a Mind of His Own 1927
Cubby Finds An Open Door 1927
Cubby Gets a Bath 1927
Digger the Badger Decides to Stay 1927
Grandfather Frog Gets a Ride 1927
Happy Jack Squirrel Helps Unc’ Billy 1927
The Adventures of Longlegs the Heron 1927
Milk and Honey 1927
The Neatness of Bobby Coon 1927
What Farmer Brown’s Boy Did 1927
Bobby Coon Has a Good Time 1928
Bowser the Hound Meets His Match 1928
Happy Jack Squirrel’s Bright Idea 1928
Peter Rabbit Learns to Use His New Coat 1928
The Burgess Seashore Book for Children 1929
Wild Flowers We Know 1929
Wild Flowers We Should Know 1929
The Burgess Big Book of Green Meadow Stories 1932
Birds You Should Know 1933
The Wishing – Stone Stories 1935
The Big Thornton Burgess Story-Book 1937
Tales from the Storyteller’s House 1937
The Book of Animal Life 1937
While the Story-Log Burns 1938
Mother Nature’s Song and Story Book 1938
A Merry Coasting Party 1940
A Robber Meets His Match 1940
Bobby Coon’s Mistake 1940
Paddy’s Surprise Visitor 1940
Peter Rabbit Proves a Friend 1940
Reddy Fox’s Sudden Engagement 1940
The Three Little Bears 1940
Young Flash the Deer 1940
The Little Burgess Animal Book 1941
The Little Burgess Bird Book 1941
The Animal World of Thornton Burgess 1942
Little Chuck’s Adventure 1942
Thornton Burgess Animal Stories 1942
On the Green Meadows, A Book of Nature Stories 1944
The Feast at the Big Rock 1944
At the Smiling Pool 1945
The Big Book of Burgess Nature Stories 1945
The Crooked Little Path 1946
The Dear Old Briar-Patch 1947
Along Laughing Brook 1949
Baby Animal Stories 1949
The Thornton W. Burgess Nature Almanac 1949
A Thornton Burgess Picture Story Book 1950
At Paddy the Beaver’s Pond 1950
Everybody Lends Jerry Muskrat A Hand / Reddy Fox Takes A Bath 1953
Peter Rabbit Plays a Joke 1953
Peter Cottontail and Reddy Fox Wonder Book #843 1954
The Littlest Christmas Tree 1954
Stories Around the Year 1955
50 Favorite Burgess Stories 1956
Little Peter Cottontail 1956
How Peter Cottontail Got His Name 1957
Read-Aloud Peter Rabbit Stories 1958
Thornton Burgess Bedtime Stories 1959
Nature Stories to Read Aloud 1959
Now I Remember: The Autobiography of An Amateur Naturalist 1960
The Million Little Sunbeams 1963
Mother West Wind Stories To Read Aloud 1965
The Burgess Book of Nature Lore 1965


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