Virginia Lee Burton

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Choo Choo

Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton

Choo Choo was Burton’s first published book (1935) and was dedicated to her son Aris.  Aside from this one final work, the entirety of the drawings from this book are in the Knight Library at the University of Oregon.  The story describes a restless train engine that tries to escape its routine days by running away along an abandoned track.  Exhilarated at first, it eventually runs out of fuel in a scary forest. Luckily, the engineers find her and bring her home to safety.  Even in this early book, the design elements that would make her famous in books like The Little House, and Katy the Snow Plow are evident.

This illustration is the final version that was printed in the book.