Virginia Lee Burton
I just came across this three-year-old birthday tribute to Virginia Lee Burton, which provides some interesting biographical detail on the author. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel was my favorite book as a child, but for some reason I never read any of her other books until about ten years ago, when Maddie received a four-book Burton omnibus as a gift. Mike Mulligan was included in that edition, of course, but I was utterly charmed by The Little House, from which the illustration above is taken. It's a quietly beautiful and poignant story about social change, and ultimately about returning to slower, simpler times, and in which Burton manages the neat trick of generating empathy with an inanimate object: the little house, the unlikely protagonist.