Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Virginia Lee Burton
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
A little house is content with her place on a small hill, surrounded by picturesque countryside. Far in the distance, the little house can see the lights of a city, and contemplates what it would be like to live there. One by one, changes come to the rural landscape. A paved road replaces the old dirt path, apartments spring up, light posts and trolley cars appear, and eventually, the little house finds herself surrounded by the bustling city she once wondered at from afar. Its earnest desires to live once again in the peaceful countryside and house a happy family come to fruition when a great-great-granddaughter of the original owner helps restore the little house to her former home.
First published in 1942, Caldecott Award winner The Little House is a timeless classic. Bright watercolor illustrations anchor the storyline, with the little house's position remaining constant on each page. This makes the changes in the environment around her especially striking and easy to see. The cadence and pacing of the plot provide a sense of predictability and allow the reader to feel the passage of time. This gentle and poignant story would make a perfect bedtime story, and could also be used as a classroom read-aloud to examine the nature and effects of urbanization. This book's message of is one of constancy and change, and of the value of artifacts from the past.