Virginia Lee Burton

2015 Lifetime Achievement Award (Posthumous): Virginia Lee Burton

Virginia Lee Burton (1909–1968) was known for her attention to detail and for determining the design, typeface, and layout of each book she wrote and illustrated. She was a pioneer in turning vehicles into beloved children’s book characters. Her first title, Choo Choo, featured an anthropomorphic train engine. She followed it with Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, and Maybelle the Cable Car. She also broke ground with her use of a comic strip format in Calico the Wonder Horse, or The Saga of Stewy Stinker. In 1943, she was awarded the Caldecott Medal for The Little House, based on moving her family’s home from a busy street into “a field of daises with apple trees growing around,” and in 1947, she received a Caldecott Honor for The Song of Robin Hood by Anne Malcolmson and Grace Castagnetta. (All Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)