Book Review of The Little House
The Children’s Book Review
What to Expect: New Surroundings, Industrialism, Environmentalism
How about a story with a happy ending? Do you like those? This sweet tale about a little house has one of the best happy endings you could hope for. Virginia Lee Burton won the Caldecott Medal in 1943 for The Little House—the book is also a short animated film made by Disney in 1952.
A well-built and strong little house is way out in the country, perched on a hill surrounded by beautiful countryside. She happily watches the days, nights, seasons, and years go by her—daisies bloom, apple trees blossom, snow falls, and the moon grows from a thin new moon to a full moon and back again. As the years pass, she notices the city lights coming closer, and the quiet country soon becomes a bustling city. Eventually, tall city buildings that block her view of the sun, stars, and moon—the countryside is nowhere in sight—surround her.
The illustrations of the house are so captivating and clever. We all know that homes do not have faces. However, if you look closely enough, this little house has features that show poignant expressions. As she moves from being happy in the country to sad in the city, you can see slight changes in the shape of the front step, representing a smile and a frown. Will the little house ever see daisies and apple trees again?
Virginia Lee Burton’s simple yet inspirational story, The Little House, proves that every happy ending begins with a humble beginning—and reminds us all that happy endings are possible.
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About the Author
Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was the talented author and illustrator of some of the most enduring books ever written for children. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for THE LITTLE HOUSE, Burton’s books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia. She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband, George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design, and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans. She is the author of many classic children’s picture books, including MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL and KATY AND THE BIG SNOW.
What to Read Next if You Love The Little House
- Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton
- City Dog, Country Frog, by Mo Willems
- Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
- The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
Bianca Schulze reviewed The Little House. Discover more books like The Invisible Boy by reading our reviews and articles tagged with City Meets Country Books, Classics, Environmental, Picture Book, and Virginia Lee Burton.