Mike Mulligan, Mary Anne and some others…

There’s two things you should know about my spotlight children’s book author/illustrator for today. One, she died in 1968 at 59 years old with lung cancer. Kids, I’m not sure if she smoked, but either way–don’t, it’s stupid. Two, she wrote and illustrated some fantastic books.

Virginia Lee Burton is probably best known for her unique ability to bring life and personality to inanimate objects like steam shovels, houses, and more as the main characters in her books. If you click on the link for her name, it will show you some of the books she’s written. One of the reasons I picked her for today is because I love how her books speak to the imagination in children, while not boring adults. Maybe that sounded wrong. If you’re a parent then you can probably relate to reading a book to your child that is boring as all get out to you, but continues to fascinate them over and over and over (and over).  I also like how Burton allows readers to see through the eyes of a character that is witnessing some of the profound amounts of change that took place during her lifetime. I think it’s important for children to have first-person perspectives of life in other cultures and times, even if it is through the eyes of a house that started out on a perfect grassy knoll and ended up surrounded by a city. Don’t worry though, there’s nothing pc about Burton’s views on change, and while her resolutions may seem one-dimensional, they’re perfect for giving children another perspective on life without losing any of the charm of storytelling.

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