|Big machines : the story of Virginia Lee Burton|
Author: Rinker, Sherri Duskey
A biography of one of the most beloved author/illustrators in children's literature.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 500810
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 2.70
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 71081
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/01/17)
School Library Journal (10/01/17)
Booklist (+) (08/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/17)
The Hornbook (00/11/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2017 *Starred Review* This enchanting portrayal of Virginia Lee Burton focuses primarily on the creation of her picture books Choo Choo (1937), Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (1939), Katy and the Big Snow (1943), Maybelle the Cable Car (1952), and the Caldecott Award–winning The Little House (1942). Viewed by her neighbors in Folly Cove, beautiful Jinnee Burton is quite magical when she dances. But she is also a young mother who creates stories and art that bring big machines to life, delighting her two young sons, Aris and Michael. First she amazes Aris by sketching a full-size picture of a train that chugs off down the track. Next, after watching a digger truck with Michael, she draws him a steam shovel “to call his very own.” More characters and books follow, to the boys’ satisfaction. The writer of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (2011), Rinker contributes a well-researched, nicely worded story incorporating larger-than-life elements. Made with colored pencil, watercolors, and digital media, Rocco’s creative illustrations include his interactive interpretations of scenes from Burton’s books, including one in which the artist leans out of the Little House to finish drawing its exterior. Prime material for classroom author studies and a lively, imaginative introduction to Burton’s classic picture books. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2017 PreS-Gr 2—A coal engine, a steam shovel, a snowplow, and a cable car are the big machines that Rinker and Rocco celebrate in the story of Virginia Lee Burton's creative life. Burton's young children, Aris and Michael, clamored for stories about big machines, so "Jinnee" responded by creating Choo Choo, Mary Anne, and the others. For readers not familiar with the stories, Rinker summarizes each over a few pages, imagining Aris and Michael's reactions. Rinker also introduces an element of wonder in the narration, describing Burton as magical and her artists' tools as wands. Rocco's illustrations help convey the magic of creation: to complete the top of Choo Choo's cab, he shows Burton climbing up the ladder that she has just sketched so that she can reach. Rocco also pays tribute to Burton's early passion for ballet by depicting her creation of the big machines as graceful full-body gestures. Elements of Burton's illustrations and attention to design appear in Rocco's art: the puff of smoke above Choo Choo's smokestack contains a visual summary of the engine's adventures. This is a lovely tribute, both to a marvelous creator of books for children as well as the creative process itself. VERDICT Recommended for most picture book biography collections.—Jennifer Costa, Cambridge Public Library, MA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.