MODULE 3: CALDECOTT WINNERS
THE LITTLE HOUSE
Summary: The Little House is the story of small house through the years and transitions of land surrounding the house. The house begins as the home for a family in the country filled with fields and apple orchards. As the seasons pass, the reader can see the city lights moving closer and closer to the little house. Roads appear as the apple trees disappear. The house gets older and the finally is surrounded by the city’s oppressive presence. Then the little house is recognized as simple, country home and is uprooted and moved back to the country where the house feels a sense of belonging.
Impression: This book is so simple in its telling but it delivers an impact to the reader. The environmental themes are very apparent but I think the more subtle story about family is interesting. The illustrations are again, simple, and quiet like the little house itself.
Burton, V. (1987). The little house. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Books for
Publishers Weekly website: http://www.publishersweekly.com
The author of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and her works feature in a group of fall titles. Virginia Lee Burton's Caldecott Medal-winning The Little House, about a cozy country home that passes through the seasons, becomes engulfed by urban sprawl and is subsequently restored to a suitably rural setting, now appears in a 60th anniversary edition. A special bellyband bedecks the hardcover and a citation graces the paperback edition.
Uses: This would be a great book to pair up with Mo Willem’s City Dog, Country Frog in a discussion of the differences between the two areas. This story time could then have matching activity with several objects like a subway and tractor; then the children could match them to the area in which it belongs. It could also be part of a program or a display about being green and environmentally conscious.