A famous writer's life, on film

May 17, 2008|By Jennifer Choi | Jennifer Choi,Sun Reporter

Virginia Lee Burton had a way of making the complex seem simple. The author and illustrator who created such children's classics as Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House explored themes of friendship, urbanization and democracy in ways children could understand.

"She was far ahead of her time," said Rawn Fulton, an award-winning filmmaker whose documentary Virginia Lee Burton -- A Sense of Place tells the story of one of the most important children's book authors of the 20th century. "She looked at questions of enduring value and packaged them in a way that allowed young children to understand them intuitively, graphically and narratively."

Christine Lundberg, president of the motion picture/video production firm Red Dory Productions, and Fulton, president of Searchlight Films, collaborated on the making of the one-hour film, which will be shown tomorrow at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington. The work uses photographs, personal documents, original manuscripts, interviews with family and friends and sketchbooks. "I hope the audience gains a new or renewed appreciation for the breadth of her creative genius," said Lundberg.

The screening begins at 2 p.m. tomorrow. The museum is at 1250 New York Ave. N.W., Washington. Free. Call 202-783-5000 or go to virginialeeburton.com.

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