Caldecott Medal Book Award – 1943 – The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Caldecott Medal Book 1943 –  I consider The Little House written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton to be a true classic book for its story as well as the pictures.  The Little House, built on a hill far from any town before cars were invented, enjoys the surroundings of trees and flowers, seasons changing, and the night sky.  As the city grows closer and eventually surrounds the little house, all of these pleasures are blocked from view.  The house, once beautiful, becomes run down and tired.  Finally, a relative of the house’s builder recognizes the house and has it moved to a new hill amongst trees and flowers, changing seasons, and the night sky.  The little house is very happy to be lived in and taken care of once again.  The illustrations superbly depict the storyline as the reader is shown, with each page, more and more growing up around the house and the house beginning to get lost among the other things.  The house starts out colorful, slowly looses its color, and then is returned to its original vibrance.  I especially enjoy the pictures depicting the house in each season.

Caldecott Criteria:

1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – The folk art-type pictures remind me of a Grandma Moses picture.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – Wonderful!  Even without the words in this book, the story could be understood well.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.” – Yes – a somewhat country feel pervades the pictures.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – Yes, easily understood through the pictures themselves.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – These pictures are colorful and very interesting to look at, but certainly simple enough for children to understand.


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Filed under Caldecott Medal Winners, Recommended Reads

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