Read Notebooks Book Of The Week #5: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

This week we are highlighting a classic children’s book that has proven itself to be one of the real treasures of the genre, a book that has been delighting and teaching for over 70 years. The Little House, by Virginia Lee Burton, was first published in 1942, to great acclaim including the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1943, but has not lost any of its relevance or utility in the years since.

The Little House tells the story of just that, a little house — strong and well built, surrounded by apple trees on a little hill. This house observes the world around her. She sees the seasons go by, the creeping development of society, changing fashions and modes of transportation, and the city that goes up around where she stands. While teaching children about the passage of time, seasonal change, inheritance, and more, it also introduces young readers to social commentary on urban sprawl, not an irrelevant topic in a world where, 70 years later, cities have only grown more massive and numerous all over the globe.

Complemented by wonderful illustrations done by the author herself, this earnest children’s book is worth sharing with your children. Who knows, they might pass it along to their kids on its 100th anniversary. 

Ages 4 - 7 | 44 pages | HMH Books for Young Readers | April 2012

Justin Reyes
Justin Reyes