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The Little House

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  40,364 ratings  ·  1,267 reviews
Virginia Lee Burton won the Caldecott Medal in 1943 for her memorable picture book The Little House, a poignant story of a cute country cottage that becomes engulfed by the city that grows up around it. The house has an expressive face of windows and doors, and even the feelings of a person, so she’s sad when she’s surrounded by the dirty, noisy city’s hustle and bustle: “ ...more
Hardcover, Weekly Reader Edition, 40 pages
Published April 26th 1942 by Houghton Mifflin Company (first published 1942)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  40,364 ratings  ·  1,267 reviews

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One of the classics. And there's a good reason this book has been around for 70 years.

Upsides: A sweet story. Wonderful marriage of illustration and text working in concert. A guest cameo from Mike Mulligan and his Steam shovel if you're paying close enough attention.

Downsides: Your kids might wonder why the hell you are crying your eyes out when the main character of the story is a house.

Well worth your time.
The Power of Nature. The house is content living in nature and she is content. She is curious about the city. Eventually the city swallows her up and she loses her color and gets sad. She is moved back out to the country where she is happy again.

I take this as the power of nature and when we live in it's flows we are healthy and happy and when we rush about, we aren't so happy and we get sick more.

A powerful story. I think it's still relevant to our world today. I love this little story and it'
Rilla isn't sure she likes the look of Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House. "Hmm." She eyes it skeptically. "It doesn't really look Intresting."

"I think you'll like it," I say. "It's about a big city growing up around this little pink house."

Pink is the key word in that sentence. She'll give almost anything a chance, if there's pink involved.

"Hot pink," she murmurs approvingly, studying the cover. There is no higher praise.

"Let's give it a try," I suggest. "We can read something else afterwar
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all children, teachers, parents

An all-time favourite children’s picture book that’s as old as I am (old) and as pertinent today as ever.

I just saw a review of this and HAD to add it to my list. I’ve loved it forever. I know we were given a copy when our kids were little, so I’ve used that as a date, but who cares?

Upshot: cute little country farmhouse is gradually swallowed up by 'progress', which is still happening. You can see a picture of the original Little House on the book cover.

The Little House photo Little House in country_zpswu3gwc6x.jpg
The Little House

The city moves to t
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
A charming book about a house contentedly settled in the countryside, only to find that as time goes on there are massive building projects all around it - and finally it ends up all squashed up in the middle of a huge metropolis, surrounded by skyscrapers, main roads, railways and so forth. The house is depressed, as it loved the countryside. Fortunately the story ends happily, with the house rescued by it's original owner, and towed out to a new habitat of hills, fields and flowers.

I think thi
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
Excellent story and fantastic illustrations! A little house in the country enjoying all seasons day and night until more people come and more houses being built and the country is no longer but a city with busy traffic and tall buildings.. amazing book. Will definitely read again for my daughter.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Read this many, many times as a child in the sixties. A beloved book that I still have today.
A childhood (and adulthood!) favorite with a story line that's unique and important. I've had to look harder to find modern children's books that have this combination. The Little House is enhanced by its charming illustrations, one of the best parts being that Burton anthropomorphized this cozy house with feelings and expressions (front windows as eyes and door as mouth) that change from happy (when living in the scenic, peaceful countryside) to sad (when that same area becomes increasingly ind ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Diane by: Dan Schwent
Shelves: childrens
I loved this children's book about a pretty little house out in the country. The house enjoys trees and flowers and seeing the seasons change. But soon a road is built in front of the house, and more cars come through, and tall buildings crowd around the house. The house is sad being in the city, and it misses seeing the sun and the trees. In the end, the house is rescued and moved back out to the country, where it's happy again.

Virginia Lee Burton also wrote "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,
I have been going through some books from my childhood and I have stumbled upon this great gem called “The Little House.” “The Little House” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Virginia Lee Burton and it is about how a small house learns the true meaning of “There’s no place like home” when a growing civilization is built around it over the years. “The Little House” is definitely a gem that you cannot afford to miss!

When I first read this book when I was little, I thought it was a bit bor
Although from a narrational and textual consideration, I have tended to find in particular author/illustrator Virginia Lee Burton's rather detailed and minute descriptions of the increasing urban spread surrounding the "Little House" a bit monotonous and repetitive, for the most part, her Caldecott Medal winning The Little House glowingly presents both an aesthetically stunning, visually pleasant and also astutely representational marriage of text and accompanying images (with especially her ill ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a classic example of a carefully, meaningfully politicized picture book. The little house, sturdily built during a simpler age, loves her life in the country but harbors a strong curiosity of what it might be like to live in the city. Her curiosity is satisfied, with potentially devastating results, when the city encroaches on her countryside home.

Burton's tale relies on an almost universal acceptance of the pastoral ideal, and her message about the cost of rampant urbanization is told
Mariah Roze
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Extremely cute book! I really enjoyed it :) It really shows how you shouldn't take your life for granted because one day it could completely change.
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best picture storybooks ever!

It depicts so well how we are ruining the beautiful nature in the name of development and industrialisation.

This so called old sturdy house witnesses it all until in the end it had to be shifted somewhere else green and quite like how the surrounding used to be.

The artwork is just amazing! One of the best I have come across!
Sophia Triad
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, favorites
This is one of the best children's book I have ever read!
Simple but elegant drawings and simple but meaningful wordings.

The little house lives happily at the countryside, until a highway is built next to it and suddenly the city expands around it.

This book is a wonderful way to show to the little children:
1. How things evolve and nothing stays the same for long.
2. The fact that no matter how things change, you still can choose a different way.

Little house was sad and lost for a while, but it was
One of my favorite books from childhood this story remains timeless. This "little house" began its life in a bucolic, country setting and over time its integrity becomes threatened by encroaching development and neglect. For children, the concept of time is difficult to process. This story make it seem more understandable.
Of course there is a happy ending and the house is rescued and relocated to the country. I am reminded of this story when I see small towns transformed by strip malls and unpl
THIS BOOK! I forgot about it until I saw in on here! :) I've always loved it. Since we don't own it, we'd get it at the library! :)

Good memories!
When I saw "The Little House" I was instantly filled with warm nostalgia, and a little bit of melancholy. I knew the book was important to me as a child, but I couldn't remember why I felt a twinge of sadness. As soon as I started reading it, I remembered: the poor Little House getting all forgotten and broken in the big city's shadow. Even so, I love the book and it really made an impression on me as a child. I love the cadence of the story and the illustrations, all the details in the changing ...more
Kellyn Roth
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a little girl, I'd ask my parents to read this picture book to me over and over again. It is so sweet, and the illustrations are so great.

I love how the pictures (and words, of course) personify a house without giving it overly human qualities like some children's books nowadays ... eyes, for instance. Except in the Pixar animated movie Cars, I hate machines/house/etc. with eyes or other facial parts that makes them look like creepy little humans. *squirms uncomfortably* So whenever I return
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Many years ago I owned this little book & record, playing it on my little record player. I wish I still had it, but through moves and houses it was long gone before I reached High School. But I did find the old cartoon on YouTube today while I was trying to locate the book's author after all these years, plus a read-along of the original book. Good memories today, while looking for 'a book you loved as a child' for a reading challenge this year. ...more
Very lovely story. Now, we are too busy.
The little house love to see flowers and feel wind blowing. To live slowly is very important. This story maybe warning to the present generation.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this book. The little house was sad to see things change around her, but it had a happy ending.
Benji Martin
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the few Caldecott winners published before the 70's that I think could win if it was published today. Such a good little book. ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books That Feels Both Old-Fashioned & Contemporary
Built to stand the test of time, a little pink house leads a happy life in the countryside, watching the sun rise and set, the moon wax and wane, and the human generations go by. She occasionally wonders what life is like in the big city, never dreaming that one day her curiosity will be satisfied. One day a road is put in, running right by her front yard, and soon the area around her is filled with homes. The homes gives way to buildings, the buildings grow ever taller, and trolley-cars and the ...more
Leah Cassari
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was in our local book store buying my current obsession, Dark Places, & as always I had my 1 & 2 year old daughters w me. The deal always is if Nina (our oldest) behaves she gets to pick a book, she loves books so she always behaves in books stores. The children's section has 4 shelves w recommended books on them, each table done by age group. We hit the birth-3 years table & she picked a colorful book w a little girl on the potty on the cover. I then saw her wandering & we found the "classic ...more
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
So far, with the books I've been reading for this challenge, I've been able to see why they were selected for the list - the appeal they would have to children. Even if I personally wouldn't have liked them - as with Each Peach Pear Plum - I can see the appeal to other children.

This is the first book I've read where I've simply not seen the attraction. I can see how adults would like it - it can be seen as a fable illustrating the negative effects of urbanisation, and has a nice nostalgic elemen
Erin R
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is one of those books that embeds itself in your memory forever. I read it once or twice as a child at the library but never saw it again after that until I spotted it at a bookstore last year and just had to buy my own copy. It is a simple story about a well-loved house that survives generations and generations, first being built in the country and observing simple life and season changes around it. Over time a town pops up, which later turns into a city, which later turns into a dirty, ov ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Genre: Concept Picture book

This is a sweet story about a house that lived in the countryside for a very long time and as time went on she began to see a city in the distance. She was curious about the city and thought it would be an interesting place to be but as time progressed and the city grew into the countryside she began to realize that she was not accustomed to city life. This story is like that idea that you think you want something until you get it and realize what you had was what you
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet book and a bit of critical commentary on urban sprawl. The narrative is fun to read aloud and the illustrations are charming. I remember this book from my childhood.

This book was selected as one of the books for the April 2014 - Quarterly Caldecott discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
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Virginia Lee Burton was an American illustrator and children's book author. Burton produced seven self-illustrated children's books. She married Boston Museum school sculptor, George Demetrios, with whom she had two sons and lived in Folly Cove, Gloucester. She died at 59.


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“Day followed day, each one a little different from the one before...but the little house stayed just the same.” 804 likes
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