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Little House

Little House

by Virginia Lee Burton
Publisher: Sandpiper Books
Trade Paperback, 40 pages
Current Retail Price: $7.99
Not in stock

The Little House was built to last. She was built in the countryside with the moon and the stars overhead, the daisies and the apple trees all around and, in the far off distance, the bright lights of the city. She wonders what it would be like to live in the city. She need not wonder long, for soon the city comes to her. But the Little House is unhappy in the city. Does anyone care about a Little House anymore?

This classic, iconic story has been extracted and discussed for political themes. Is it a commentary on urban sprawl, modernization, and the busyness and superficiality of modern life? Virginia Burton denied any politicization of her story, claiming "It's a story about the passage of time." And it is. Progress passes before the Little House's eyes. The transition from carriage to steam to cars is humorously drawn in the endpapers of the book and via the illustrations.

The ability to trace the journey through time, the sense of urgency, the unhappy plight of the Little House and, of course, the miraculous ending have all delighted children since the 40's. This is a worthy winner of the 1943 Caldecott medal. It presents a story that is thought-provoking, a subtle message about slowing down and appreciating things of the past. The illustrations are beautiful, gentle, classic. A definite must-read for children of any age.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
Summary: A Little House in the country ends up living in the city thanks to progress.

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  A Book No Child Should Miss!
Albanyaloe, 2/10/2011
Here is a story I would want every child to hear. It is a beautiful story of the life cycle of a house. But there is a deeper story- that of modernisation and "progress" . It is told in a way that children can understand, and appreciate. The warmth of the house, a real home, can be felt through the story. The plight of the little house, surrounded by a city, is very moving, but the ending is a very lovely one for the little house. Good discussions can come out of this book, as well as simple observations. Pleasant art work adds a special touch.