Monday, March 10, 2003

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Here's a page from one of my favorite children's books: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. You may be quite familiar with it already, but if not here's a nutshell synopsis with spoilers: It's a quite touching story about a little house, duh, located in a idyllic countryside who is home to several generations of a family until the city, far off in the distance at first but gradually getting closer, builds itself all around it until its occupants move away and it becomes run-down, deserted, neglected and lonely...but fortunately one of the descendants of the original family sees it, remembers it, and has it moved to another far-off spot, where it is repaired and lived in once again.

I'm tellin' ya, when I was a kid that story really choked me up. Still does today, as a matter of fact. I would feel so sorry for the old house, all alone and sad in the gray, dingy city, and then feel so happy that it turned out OK for it/her. Guess I was just an old softie, even when I was a shortie. Anyway, besides being effectively written it is also drawn and designed beautifully. Burton's style seemed to be based on circular or ovoid shapes, with all the action being arranged along those lines, giving it a wonderful continuity. Reminds me a little of those medieval-era calendar pages. She was also a deft hand with colored pencils (or perhaps chalks, I'm not sure).

It occurred to me to write about this when I ran across a catalog entry for a biography of Burton entitled Virginia Lee Burton-A Life In Art by Barbara Elliman.

I hope this doesn't ruin my manly man image, but I wanted to share this with you all. Now, I gotta go get me some whiskey and snuff, go huntin', then go watch some NASCAR.