The Little House

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"Once upon a time there was a Little House way out in the country. She was a pretty Little House and she was strong and well built." So begins Virginia Lee Burton's classic The Little House, winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1943. The rosy-pink Little House, on a hill surrounded by apple trees, watches the days go, by from the first apple blossoms in the spring through the winter snows. Always faintly aware of the city's distant lights, she starts to notice the city encroaching on her bucolic existence. First a road appears, which brings horseless carriages and then trucks and steamrollers. Before long, more roads, bigger homes, apartment buildings, stores, and garages surround the Little House. Her family moves out and she finds herself alone in the middle of the city, where the artificial lights are so bright that the Little House can no longer see the sun or the moon. She often dreams of "the field of daisies and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight." Children will be saddened to see the lonely, claustrophobic, dilapidated house, but when a woman recognizes her and whisks her back to the country where she belongs, they will rejoice. Young readers are more likely to be drawn in by the whimsical, detailed drawings and the happy ending than by anything Burton might have been implying about the troubling effects of urbanization.

小房子每天站在山冈上看风景,除了日月星辰和四 季的变化,小房子还看到乡村的景物随着挖马路、开商店、盖高楼、通地下铁……而一点一点地改变。结果,小雏菊和苹果树不见了,取而代之的是都市的乌烟瘴气 和行色匆匆的人们。还好,小房子的主人的后代发现了小房子,把她又移到了乡下,她又可以静静地欣赏大自然的风景了。


获1943年凯迪克奖金奖、1959年刘易斯•卡洛尔书架奖,并入选美国全国教育协会推荐100本最佳童书、美国全国教育协会“教师们推荐的100本 书”。作者维吉尼亚·李伯顿是20世纪美国最具代表性的图画书作家,她创作于1942年的这本《小房子》,69年后依旧触动人心。这座会呼吸、有情感的小 房子,带孩子领略生命与自然的美好,传达出热爱环境、热爱生命的理念。

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