Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

This summer, my son and I found some vintage books at a garage sale. One of them was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton from 1942, which won the Caldecott Medal that year. I love how old children's books have pages made from really thick paper and the way the illustrations seem so much richer. My two-year-old really enjoys the story of the little pink house, which starts out in an idyllic country setting, then suffers as the years go by and urban sprawl consumes "the field of daisies and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight". Burton's depiction of the city is dirty and dreary, and while that's not my memory of living in the city - a part of my life I loved - it's a sweet reminder of the beauty of a rural setting: watching the light change as the sun makes its daily progression across the sky, the leaves turning brilliant hues in autumn, being able to see so many stars at night, and yes, our apple trees swaying in the wind.

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