Friday, November 7, 2014

Mike Mulligan and More

I was sad when I finished this book. I had become such great friends with the steam shovel, Mike, Katy, Maybelle and especially The Little House.  

This may be an ode to pre-industrial society, but it's also an ode to the acceptance of change. I appreciated the tidy-wrap-ups at the end, how peace and amiability were always just a compromise or an open mind away.

I do feel like The Little House's problem was only temporarily resolved, and I am haunted by this. It is such an eerie and exact representation of many industrialization-related problems that have been half-ass solved with cheap band-aids that often exacerbate the problems or create new ones.  

Ok, so The Little House story pissed me off. But it pissed me off in a way that applauds Burton's impressive insightfulness. I think she would agree with me when I say that I wish she was wrong. But I am currently reading Poop Happened and from what I can understand industrialization had a little bit to do with making this world less plague-friendly and odiferous. So please pardon my industrialization-bashing party here. The Little House may have to keep moving each time progress springs up around it, but at least there aren't pails of shit in our houses and only a handful of plagues lurking around *knock on wood*.

The illustrations are exceptional even without the knowledge that Burton made them with the same kind of waxy crayons that kids use today. The expressions are extraordinary and convey a wide variety of emotions, from happiness to pride and even dismay. If I were to ever be lucky enough to befriend a few machines and a house, these guys are at the top of my list.

1 comment:

  1. This was one of my favorite books when I was a child. I remember it vividly so I know it was special. I read all of Virginia Burton's books and she was truly an artist.