“The Little House”

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In a recent interview, Anne Tyler was asked to name one book that made her who she is today.9780547131047_p0_v1_s114x166Although her answer might seem strange, she said the Virginia Lee Burton’s “The Little House” was that book.  Given to her on her fourth birthday, Tyler said that the book’s message “about the irreversible passage of time instantly hit home.”

We still have “The Little House” on our shelves.  Written in 1942 it was a Caldecott Medal winner.  As I took the book off the shelf, I instantly remembered reading it a very long time ago.  The watercolor illustrations going from very bright colors to the dark, dirty paintings of the city really help the reader to understand how times change.  The text is equally moving describing how life changes for everyone, including the little house.  Of course, since this is a children’s book, it does have a happy ending.  How the house is rescued comes full circle to the opening page where the original owner believes that he will see future generations living in his house and that is what happens.  A simple story that was very well told.  No wonder Anne Tyler was so moved and influenced by it.

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