『ちいさいおうち』原画 制作年不明 紙、水彩
a. 表紙 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios
b. 「街への変化」P16-17 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios
c. 「ビルに挟まれたおうち」P32-33 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios
d. 「再びの落ち着き」P38-39 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios


The Little House (1942)


Exhibition Photos

The pink “little house” standing on a hill spends happy days watching the hill where the sun rises and sets, the garden with seasonal flowers and little birds picking at fruits and the children living there growing to adults. Time passes and city development continues with roads constructed and trains running around “the little house”. The countryside has grown to a big city with skyscrapers.
“The little house” is buried in the forest of tall buildings, feeling sad that she can no longer see the starry sky at night. Several years later, a descendent of the family who built the house discovers “the little house” and moves her to the hill in the countryside where she can recover her happiness again.
The rural landscapes and changes of the seasons represented in the story are nothing but the nature around the Burton’s house. She tries to communicate children the long span of time across generations and the broad concept of time, which accommodates changes of environment. She created the story to show the the further people live away from simple life in nature, the less happy they become. She wrote the story so that children could feel the beauty of living in harmony with nature.
Children loved the picture book and the book was awarded with Caldecott Medal in 1943. In the award speech she said, “I expressed the passage of time of the day with the sun rising and setting, that of the month with waxing and waning of the moon and that of the year with seasons.” In the illustration of the book we can find Mike and Mary Anne, Aris (the older son) playing in a swing, George (husband) mowing the lawn and Jinnee (herself) sketching. She is very careful in the details so that the readers can be drawn into the story while comparing it with their familiar events. The main characters of her stories are always female. The “little house” has no name but the door to the house found in the cover of the book has a sign of “Her-Story”. It is her message that history is not composed only of his-story but also her-story and women have played a major role in history.


“The Little House” Original artwork    Undated    Watercolor on paper
Collection of the Kerlan Collection at University of Minnesota
a. Cover ©Aristides Burton Demetrios
b. ‘Urbanized’ P16-17 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios
c. ‘Building house & house’ P32-33 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios
d. ‘Relocated’ P38-39 ©Aristides Burton Demetrios