Virginia Lee Burton: Jonnifer Lint

Jonnifer Lint was Burton’s first attempt at a children’s book was never published. it was rejected by thirteen publishers but caught the eye of an editor at Houghton Mifflin because they then commissioned her to do her first illustration job, producing drawings for Arna Bontemps Sad Faced Boy. 

Of the book, Burton said:

My first book, Jonnifer Lint, was about a piece of dust. I and my friends thought it was very clever but thirteen publishers disagreed with us and when I finally got the manuscript back and read it to Aris, age three and a half he went to sleep before I could even finish it. That taught me a lesson and from then on I worked with and for my audience, my own children. I would tell them the story over and over, watching their reaction and adjusting to their interest or lack of interest … the same with the drawings. Children are very frank critics.

This collection is sold only in its entirety as a set.