Title: The Little House
Author: Virginia Lee Burton
Publication Date: 1942
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Number of Pages: 40
Awards: Caldecott Medal
Genre/Subgenre: Picture book
A little house in the country finds that city life is not what she imagined.
The Little House is the story of a house built in the country by a man who hopes his family will live there for generations. The little house loves living in the country but is curious about the city, which she can see at night by its lights. One day, people come to the country and build a road. People begin to build houses and then tenements, and finally skyscrapers. The streets turn into freeways and trains and subways. All the while, the little house gets lost in the shuffle of the city and has no one to care for her. One day, a descendent of the little house’s builder walks by and recognizes the house. She and her husband decide to move the house into the country and live their. The house is happy because she is back in the country and being cared for.
This is really a sweet book. I love the illustrations – they make the story really come to life. Virginia Lee Burton has such an excellent ability to personify objects and turn them into protagonists. The little house had so much personality! The Little House‘s reputation as a classic is completely deserved.
Why I Chose the Book:
I remembered reading The Little House as a child and really enjoying it, so I wanted to see how my perspective had changed as an adult. I still love it!
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Burton Lee
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Burton Lee
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
Book Talk Ideas
Have students or patrons draw a new country home for the little house.
1. How does the little house’s opinion on the city change once she is living in one?
2. If you were a house, would you rather live in the country or the city? Why?
Amazon.com (2014). Pricing information. Retrieved from http://smile.amazon.com/Little-House-Virginia-Lee-Burton/dp/0812428080/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1399137506Burton, V.L. (1942). The Little House [Kindle Version]. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, MA.
Goodreads (2014). The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/153540.The_Little_House?from_search=true
“The Little House.” NoveList K-8. EBSCO, 01 Jan. 2001. Web. 3 May 2014. <http://0-web.a.ebscohost.com.catalog.sjlibrary.org/novpk8/detail?vid=23&sid=5111083a-445b-4675-917a-fc242099ca0f%40sessionmgr4003&hid=4101&bdata=JnNpdGU9bm92cGs4LWxpdmU%3d#db=njh&UI=108017>.