Cape Ann Museum featured The Little House, the beloved picture book by Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968). This was in celebration of the book’s 75th publication anniversary.
In addition to Burton’s drawings, book illustrations, and prints, an artfully-created scale model of her “Little House.”
The Japanese were also drawn to this book. My husband and I thought that they could relate to the theme of rapid urbanization and change. This exhibit orginated from the Gallery A4 in Tokyo which fabricated the Little House model last year.
I really wanted to see this exhibit because Virginia Lee Burton lived in my town, Newton, Massachusetts. She also spent most of her adult life about an hour away in the coastal town of Gloucester where she ran a textile design firm.
My kids grew up reading Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow. I had always imagined Katy’s town as Newton, but the curator at the Cape Ann Museum laughed and said that she imagined it as Gloucester.
I made a short video of the exhibition for those who can’t visit Massachusetts.
I loved seeing Virginia Lee Burton’s sketch books. It makes me feel like I could be an illustrator too!
The Little House model is in search of a home after this exhibit ends. If you know of a museum or institution that might be interested, please leave a comment. Cape Ann Museum does not have room for it and would love not to have to destroy it!
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.