Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BIG MACHINES: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker.  Illus. by John Rocco.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.  32p.  ISBN 978-054471557-8 hc. $17.99   Gr. 1-3     J 921

Rinker's picture book biography of the award-winning author/illustrator, Virginia Lee Burton, focuses on how Burton used her artistic training to create pictures of big machines for her sons.  For Aris, she created a steam engine train, followed by a steam shovel for Michael, along with the stories "Choo Choo" and "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel."  Over the years, she also wrote and illustrated two more books about big machines, "Katy and the Big Snow" and "Maybelle the Cable Car."  Burton won the Caldecott Medal in 1943 for "The Little House," a structure that was built in the country, became shabby as it was swallowed up by urban construction, and was finally fixed up and moved back to the countryside.  These books have been classic children's literature for the past 70 years, thanks to the artist to created memorable books about machines found in the places where she worked and lived.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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