Last week we did Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton for “David school” as our Five in a Row book of the week. Since one of the things I’ve always liked the most about Virginia Lee Burton’s books is the detailed artwork, I decided to look in Storybook Art by Mary Ann Kohl to see if it had a suggested lesson plan that would go along with the book. This book is one of my favorite art resources. There are 100 art projects to go along with classic children’s stories. The suggested projects sometimes imitate the style of the illustrator and are sometimes just inspired by the book. An added bonus is that many different art techniques and mediums are used which is a bonus for those of us who can get into a rut with art. Storybook Art came through with a suggested project for a different Virginia Lee Burton book, The Little House.
I have to admit that this Burton book has never been my favorite. I love Mike Mulligan and Katy and the Big Snow but I’ve always found this book about a house that is the victim of urbanization kind of sad. My boys have also never seemed to find it as compelling as Mike or Katy but I think that has less to do with their emotional reaction than with the fact that the main character is a house instead of a STEAM SHOVEL or SNOW PLOW. But it was a great book to go along with our study and I think the art project turned out really well.
H. and the boys read the book and did the project together. This was David’s. The simple house and tree were drawn by H. and then David did the coloring/painting.
This was John’s. I thought it turned out very nicely, especially since art is one of his least favorite subjects. They used watercolor crayons for these, a favorite medium. The assignment was to draw the same scene in four different seasons (like the house in the book is seen in different seasons and over time).