Wednesday, May 26, 2010


If you don't recognize the writer/illustrator's name, you'll surely remember Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House, which was awarded the 1943 Caldecott Medal. Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art, the biography by Barbara Elleman, is a treasure as well. Who could ever imagine all that Virginia Lee Burton (1909 - 1968) did in her life? Her design talent is remarkable, as was her work ethic. So was the family life she created in New England for her artist husband and two sons. Tying all of it together were her sparkling spirit and a sense of creativity that permeated every facet of her existence. Her biography is a joy to read, filled with energy, wisdom and grace. Plus extraordinary facts, history and, of course, the visuals. It's inspiring.
Being a children's book illustrator is only part of her rich and layered story, but it is how she is most commonly remembered. Accepting the Caldecott award, Virginia Lee Burton said "The basic things are always the most important, and good art, certainly a basic thing, impressed on young minds through the medium of children's book, is without a doubt one of the best possible ways of giving children a true conception of the world they live in."

1 comment:

phonelady said...

I could not agree more with that statement and mike and his steam shovel are a fond memory of mine .