Friday, May 25, 2012

The Little House - Virginia Lee Burton

Summary: Winner of the Caldecott Medal and in print for more than sixty years, The Little House is an enchanting classic of American children's literature.  (Summary from book -  Image from

My Review:  The little house sits on a beautiful hill in the countryside, surrounded by blossoming apple trees and fertile green fields.  The house loves the little hill, but always wonders about the distant lights of the city and longs to see them one day.  Over the years, as different families come and go, the city grows ever closer to the little house on the hill.  Roads come, and with them, carriages...then cars...then trains.  Before long, the little house is surrounded by sky scrapers, subways, and the hustle and bustle of a city life that doesn't seem quite so appealing.  Now the little house sits abandoned, sad, run-down, and lonely until, one day, a woman sees its potential and changes everything.

The Little House is an absolutely gorgeous children's picture book and well deserving of it's Caldecott Medal.  One of the best things about this book, besides the detailed illustrations, is that it can be read on multiple levels. The story and illustrations  can be read and/or flicked through simply for entertainment, or examined to see how life slowly changes over the seasons and from year to year.

My children were fascinated by this book and spent a lot of time comparing the different pages to see what had changed and what had stayed the same.  My oldest daughter even noted the house's anthropomorphic qualities -- how it seemed to have facial features and expressions that changed throughout the course of the book (Hello?! Can you say Proud Mama!)  Personally, I just loved the author/illustrator's colorful, whimsical illustrations, how they changed with the progression of the story, and how everything ended happily-ever-after for the little house on the hill.  I am determined to own this book so that my children can remember it as one their mom always read to them when they were growing up.

My Rating: 5 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  In one of the pictures you see a very tiny, very naked little boy diving into a pond.  He's minuscule, so there is virtually no detail but my daughters did note his naked bum and dissolved into a fit of giggles.

Sum it up:  Buy this book for your little ones.  Check it out first, if you must, but then go and get your own copy.

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