"The Little House" (1952)
Today, while perusing the book stalls of a thrift store I found it! In the very back corner, on the very bottom shelf, of the very last stack of books I was looking through, I found a rather time-worn copy of The Little House. Now I am no bibliophile; I rarely look through the book section while thrifting as I am more intent on finding clothes and housewares. I like books, but usually my favorites are purely picture-based. Well, it goes without saying then that I love children's books - especially heavily-illustrated examples from the first part of the 20th Century that inspire my favorite cartoons.
Yes, in this dust jacket-less copy, there are some ink marks, plenty of dog ears, and a sagging binding, but I say, "Let he that is without a sagging binding cast the first stone." I just couldn't leave behind this sweet 1946 printing of the The Little House. The author, Virginia Lee Bruce, quite well known for another children's classic, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, won The Caldecott Medal for The Little House in 1942 for "The most distinguished American picture book for children." That's right, Ms. Lee Burton illustrated the book as well. In 1952, Walt Disney released the cartoon of the same name.
At some point in it's nearly 70 year life, this book belonged to Tommy. Here are a few of my favorite pages from The Little House.
|Concept art for "The Little House" - Mary Blair|
Notice the product placement - even in the 50's!
|"Once again she was lived in and taken care of."|
|"Never again would she be curious about the city...|
Never again would she want to live there...
The stars twinkled above her...
A new moon was coming up...
It was Spring..
and all was quiet and peaceful in the country."
I tend to feel like the Little House; the city is interesting, but I think I would be happiest in the country, surrounded by daisy fields and apple trees. The Little House definitely inspired the styling that I look for in a home; I love symmetry and a house with a "face." I've said it before, but my favorite houses are those that look like a child's drawing of a house or at least an illustration from a children's book.
I think my rescuing The Little House directly echoes the storyline. The Little House "didn't like living in the [thrift store]. At night she used to dream of [Mr. Tiny's house]...Her [spine was] broken and her [cover] hung crookedly. She looked shabby...though she was just as good a [book] as ever underneath." Now, "once again she was [read] and taken care of." Although, Mr. Tiny wouldn't normally end a sentence with a preposition.