Once there was a Little House way out in the country. She was a pretty Little House and she was strong and well built. The man who built her so well said, "This Little House shall never be sold for gold or silver and she will live to see our great-great-grandchildren's great-great-grandchildren living in her." --Virginia Lee Burton
I have such wonderful memories of sitting with my children and reading many an afternoon away. This book was one of our favorites. Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House was first published in 1942, and won the Caldecott Medal in 1943. It is the story of a cherished little abode, built with love and pride, sitting pretty on a hill in the country. We travel through the seasons with her...
Watch the stars above her at night...
But as the story goes on, the lights of the city grow closer on the horizon. Over time everything changes around the little house.
Looking back through this book now, I love it just as much, if not more. Of course I love the fact that the story is about a house--one that is simple, beautiful, and well-built with love. Her story takes a sad and dark turn as she is lost and forgotten among the smog and confusion of the city: "her windows were broken and her shutters hung crookedly. She looked shabby..." But Ms. Burton is quick to remind the reader: "...she was just as good a house as ever underneath."
In the end, it is a story of redemption. The house is recognized by the great-great-granddaughter of the man who built her. They know that she is a little house worth saving, and they do just that.
Ms. Burton wrote so many of our family's best-loved books such as Choo Choo, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Katy and the Big Snow. If you haven't ever read any of these stories, whether you are young, old, or somewhere in between, I urge you to do so. And share them with a friend!