Virginia Lee Burton favorites

October 13, 2010

I recently discovered Virginia Lee Burton and wanted to share our favorites with you. I was intrigued by the beautiful illustrations, but Juliet is obsessed with the stories of trains, snowplows, and steam shovels.

I have to admit that I get asked A LOT of questions that I don't have the answers to when we read these books, but somehow, Juliet still finds them interesting--despite her mother's complete lack of knowledge concerning vehicles and machinery.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
This is the first book of hers that we read. I've mentioned before that all the questions concerning diesel, gasoline, and steam powered engines from Juliet left me feeling pretty uninformed. But even though we don't know how all these machines work, we still love the heartwarming story of Mike and his beloved Mary Anne.

Katy and the Big Snow
Katy & the Big Snow
After reading Mike Mulligan, we were delighted to discover this one. The city of Geopolis makes it through the snowstorm thanks to the hardworking Katy. Not too many questions on this one! (This is the only one we own, by the way.)

Choo Choo
Choo Choo
This is Juliet's current favorite. We have read it MANY times this past week. The first time we read it, I almost shut it because I had no idea what a tender cart was (it's the car that carries the coal for the train). Juliet kept asking, "But mom, what's a tender?" And I kept saying, "I'm sorry! I just don't know!" But then we figured it out when it fell off the drawbridge. Juliet loves the sound effects (lots of choo-chooing and whistle blowing)  and the story of the naughty little train that ran away.

Maybelle the Cable Car
Maybelle the Cable Car
I love the illustrations and especially the cover of this one. The story is good too, but it didn't capture Juliet's attention the way the previous 3 did. (It did pose a lot of unanswerable questions about cable cars, though.) It's set in San Franscisco, so if you live there or are going to visit, this is one you should definitely check out!

The Little House
The Little House
Another beautifully illustrated book. Juliet loves this story and asked unending questions about the subway...

Calico the Wonder Horse, or the Saga of Stewy Stinker
Calico the Wonder Horse, or the Saga of Stewy Stinker
This is a really fun book, but probably more suited to older children. We did enjoy it, but it is long and it does involve some gunfights (as it is set in the wild, wild west.) You can tell by the title that the villian, while vile, is not so scary. (How could he be that scary when his name is Stewy Stinker?) And in the end, he renounces all his bad ways and becomes a good guy. The illustrations are particularly amazing, I think.

Do you have any Virginia Lee Burton favorites?

linking to author spotlights!


Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

The Little House was my favorite growing up, and I'm always surprised by how few people are familiar with it! Glad Juliet is getting exposed to such great classics at a young age. :)

Phyllis said...

These are favorites at our house too.

Swati said...

We've only two of these - the steam shovel and the little house, and both were read often, even at the age of two, which surprised me a lot!

khull05 said...

Oh, I have such good memories of "Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel". I keep searching for a copy at our used book store...

A couple of these I've never read. Will be looking for them!

Infant Bibliophile said...

That's so funny - I just posted about the Steam Shovel recently, and I said that it was the week of "why". It inspired a lot of questions here too!

welcome to our wonderland said...

you know I don't think I've read any of hers off to check out library to see, and if not I will :)

thanks for linking up! :)

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