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#ReadKidsClassics | Celebrating Author Virginia Lee Burton

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When you hear Virginia Lee Burton, the author’s name may bring to mind a well-loved steam shovel and his friend Mike Mulligan…

…or a sweet little house…

…and a snow plow named Katy.

But recently we have stumbled onto two other Virginia Lee Burton books that we just had to share.

The Song of Robin Hood

The Song of Robin Hood is a collection of intricately designed and illustrated sagas of Robin Hood. Complete with music, this book has had us singing, creating costumes, and embracing true bard like behavior while living inside these 18 ballads.

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The text, the music, and the illustrations combine to form a harmonious and timeless work of art. There is no better way to introduce young readers to the legend of Robin Hood or to renew a love of the tale in the hearts of those who already know the classic story. Lovingly revived and beautifully reissued, The Song of Robin Hood stands as one of the truly stunning books of our time.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

In a 20th anniversary edition, The Emperor’s New Clothes brings back to life a fairytale classic. These illustrations are done in stunning colors and bring out the little details of the story. For myself, I love the looms and the detail of weaving and sewing. Each time I look at this book I discover something new. I hadn’t known that she had illustrated this story so it was a real treat when I discovered it at the bookstore.

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Illustrated by the beloved creator of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Little House, and Katy and the Big Snow, here is a delightful version of the tale that boys and girls have loved for centuries. The Emperor himself, his court, and his clothes—or lack of them—are ridiculous as only the master storyteller Hans Christian Andersen can make them. Fifty-five years ago, Virginia Lee Burton added to this tale of fun her own irrepressible humor in pictures and design. This brilliant new edition features Burton’s original illustrations photographed anew, freshly exhibiting her lively concoction of remarkable spirit and beauty.

For most of us, we know Virginia Lee Burton as an illustrator, but she was also a dancer, musician, designer, sculptor, and printmaker. Along with all of these endeavors she lived a full and happy life with her husband Demetrios and their two sons.

As a family, they raised sheep, entertained friends, taught art and design classes which later evolved into the Folly Cove Designers.

After living through both of these books I became very curious as to who this talented woman was. I spent a great afternoon watching a Sense of Place, on DVD. Like so many of us, she balanced a family life with creating. After knowing more about her, I’m so inspired and encouraged to keep moving forward, one creation at a time.

Virginia Lee Burton books