cover image Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton

Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton

Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by John Rocco. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-544-71557-8

Rinker and Rocco reveal how Virginia Lee Burton transformed her children’s love of powerful vehicles into a string of picture books, including her Caldecott Medal–winning The Little House. Burton’s study of art and dance are on full display in Rocco’s mixed-media illustrations, her movements balletic as she lays the groundwork for her illustrations in pencil. Rinker’s exuberant text focuses on process (“First there is jump paper: white, white, white.... With a whoosh of black and some strokes of red and green, Aris and Michael meet... Katy!”) and on the joy Burton’s creations brought to her sons. Burton’s fans will enjoy teasing out the visual references to her work, both in Rocco’s use of color and form (including several circular vignettes), while feeling intimately connected to how these treasured stories came into being. Ages 4–7. Illustrator’s agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Sept.)