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The Little House

May 19, 2023

The Little House was very happy living in the country.

She sat on the hill and watched the sunrise every morning and the sunset each evening.

As time passes, the countryside changes, and soon the city starts to move closer and closer to her doorstep.

Virginia Lee Burton won the Caldecott Medal for this book written in 1942. The Little House is a classic children’s book with captivating illustrations of the pink house with a life-like face. The book tells her story.

The Little House goes from looking at her favourite apple trees and watching the seasons change, to being surrounded by streets, houses, buildings, a subway, and so many people, in the busy city.

Burton’s house is smiling and feels happy when she’s in the country. But she is unable to tell what season it is, when she’s surrounded by dust, smoke, and the noise of the city. The Little House is sad and lonely in the city that’s built up around her and she can’t see the moon and stars at night. She dreams of “the field of daisies and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight.”

I love this classic beauty with its moon chart, sun faces, and detailed old-fashioned illustrations of the changing city landscape. The book’s message about the constant change of the world we live in, endures 80 years after it was written.

The Little House is moved on a truck, back to the countryside, where all is quiet and peaceful. In the end, the Little House is cared for and lived in again.

A great book for kids to see the importance of being present to our surroundings and learn what it means to belong. Sometimes, shiny, fancy, new, and improved isn’t always the best!

Helps with: understanding the power of nature and belonging, questioning how we live and what we do, changing seasons, country living, advancement of transportation and architecture, population growth, and understanding urban sprawl.

Author: Virginia Lee Burton 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1942