Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Review + Giveaway - The Little House!

My first Virginia Lee Burton book was Katy and the Big Snow which Dumpling and I read for one of our homeschool units. I recalled that the illustrations were very interesting where the 'borders' were actually scenes which add to the story too.

When we received The Little House for a review, I was naturally excited and after a quick flip through, I had on purpose, kept this title as the last to review. In comparison Katy and the Big Snow (which had shorter sentences), this title is more suitable for older children due to the theme and heavier text.
:: The storyline 
Beneath the beautiful illustrated cover lies a heartwarming story of a little house caught in a web of modern development. While I expected the story to revolve around the little house, what I was unprepared for was how the author, in a subtle yet clever manner, brought me through an array of emotions - panic, sympathy, sadness and finally relief.

Where the little house used to be curious about the city life and longed to experience it; it later learnt that the loud, intimidating and bustling life was certainly not what it expected to be. (A great life lesson here too!) There was just no place for the little house amidst the looming tall buildings, glaring bright city lights and the loud blaring of car horns and rumbling of the subways.

As the author spun the story through these environmental changes, I was dismayed and certainly surprised to actually feel a sense of disgust in me at how cold our society is, where it could not even tolerate the existence of a harmless little house. I actually loathed the thought of our Earth becoming this polluted, our society this cold and our world this populated one day. Hard to imagine that this book was first written more than 70 years ago and the author has already seen what is to come. 

Be prepared for discussions with your kiddos as Dumpling and I pored through each page slowly while admiring the illustrations too. A heartwarming story told by a master story-teller. 

:: The Illustrations
The title was awarded a Caldecott medal which says a lot about its illustrations. After flipping through, I was certainly not let down.  Her attention to details are amazing yet they are drawn and painted in a style that's also appreciated by Dumpling.

Look at how small changes on little details on the house (shutters and doors and the usage of colours) can totally change the mood and how it changes from a smiley face

To a frightened face!

This title is also wonderful for homeschool units as we can extend to learning about Seasons and Phases of the Moon (included in the illustration on another page, not shown here). I downloaded the free pack from Homeschool Share here.

Dumpling pointed out the various scenes where the children were playing and dogs running and pored over 4 pages specifically which showed the changes in the seasons. These 4 pages are definitely my favourite pages, just look at how the author depicted the various seasonal changes with the same house.

While reading through, I feel like I was almost there, taking in the laughing scenes of children squealing into the air in delight as they swam and played outdoors. Such is the charm and talent of Virginia Lee Burton.

A wonderful classic title and one definitely for keeps to even pass on to your grandchildren!

Author and Illustrator: Virginia Lee Burton
Age group: 5 - 8

I received this title from My Imagination Kingdom in order to do a review on and give my opinion of it. 

I am excited to share that I have 2 copies of The Little House kindly sponsored by My Imagination Kingdom for 2 readers! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please remember to:
1) Leave a comment in the comment box on why you wish to win this title

2) Leave your email address - this allows us to contact you if you win it. Winners will be randomly selected. 
(Note: this giveaway is only for Singapore Residents only) 

If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on my Facebook Page where I share my parenting thoughts, food photos (be prepared for tons of them!), early shout outs for giveaways and interact with my readers! You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram

CONGRATULATIONS TO SERENE SEAH & JUDY FOO ON BEING OUR WINNERS FOR THIS GIVEAWAY! My Imagination Kingdom will be in touch soon! Please check your email! 

I was also invited guest post at My Imagination Kingdom to share my experiences and tips on read aloud and literacy. Hop on over to find out more!   


  1. Name: Amie Chen
    Hope to win this book so that my children can learn about the different seasons in the world.

  2. I want to win this book to share with my sons during bedtimes, they are always hungry for stories and I'm running dry on ideas.

  3. I'll love to win this book and read to my boy as he has started to ask questions and wondered why the "empty" spaces and trees that we have passed by, are making way for those tall buildings or blocks of flats?!

  4. Name : Megan Yeo
    Email :
    I hope to win this book so that my daughter and my niece can appreciate the four seasons better.

  5. My kid loves to read. A great book for storytelling too.

  6. Hope to win this because its a great classic title and my girl is crazy about seasons now.
    Thank you for hosting.

    Shih hui

  7. It will be really cool to teach my girl about seasons, something we do not experience locally, right in the comfort of our couches.


  8. I hope to win this book because it teaches not only about seasons, but in much more depth and different dimensions about life itself! This reminds me of the wordless book 'Window, by Jeannie Baker' (

    Not entirely the same and also written from a different perspective. It would be interesting to see the world from the point of a little house with WORDS. :)

    Yes, it is sad that the world we live in can be very cruel and cold. To not just little houses, but also little furry strays on the streets.

    Thank you Alicia for hosting the giveaway!

    Jacquelene Pang

  9. Read the Chinese version. Would love to have the English version too! Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

  10. Oooooh I wuv the gorgeous illustrations!!! Poppy knows the two extremes - Winter and well, Singapore weather haha, but I've been finding it hard to explain Spring and Autumn. This would be really helpful!

    Adora /

  11. Jennifer, jennlimbh(at)gmail(dot)com

    because I can never give up a good book with good illustrations.

  12. OOOH! This was a title I've been eyeing for sometime, for its storyline and illustrations! Would certainly love to win a copy to read to the boys.


  13. Alicia Wee

    Keen to win this and read with Kieran. Will be interesting to see how he deals with the larger emotions from the storybook!


    Would love to win this simply because my kiddos love books and they definitely love receiving them in the mail =P

  15. Would like to win this for my girl as she'll be learning about season with her class soon and this looks like it would make a good read.

  16. Me me! I can do with 1 more book :) Thanks for the headsup.

    Shirley Yong

  17. Gorgeous illustrations. and we love Caldecott winners.
    Robert Sim

  18. Would love to win this book to add to our picture book collection at home!

  19. This seems a very good and interesting book. One that I would love to read to my son over and over again.

  20. 1) Audrey Soo

    Hope to win this book because N simply loves illustrated books. And based on your review, it seems like a really meaningful read.


  21. Love the illustrations!

  22. Your review really made me interested to want to have the book just to pore over the pages of beautiful illustrations. Of course, these illustrations that accompany the story are not the only draw. I am always on the lookout for stories that have underlying messages and emotions that the children will truly understand in years to come, and pick up the book again to re-read with greater understanding.

  23. Name: Mary Lim
    Email add :

    Elijah is always requesting for a winter holiday!! Am sure he will be thrilled to read a book on seasons!

  24. The moral values delivered in this book is something I would like to pass onto my children!

    Li Peng

  25. Nice book to teach values and illustrations to relate to. Would love to win a copy for Xav and Vera for their bedtime stories.

    Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

    Serene Seah

  26. Im not joining the giveaway but I just HAVE to Come here & say: I LOVE this book!! It's a great read for all kids!

  27. Hi homeschoolsg,

    Thank you for sharing, Dumpling and I love her series of titles and we just finished Maybelle last evening. The author has a very unique and poignant style of writing; yet bringing across important lessons and values. :) Do email me and share / chat on your other favorite titles too :)


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