Book Spotlight: “Life Story” by Virginia Lee Burton

Book Spotlight: “Life Story” by Virginia Lee Burton

At the end of last year, I set a personal goal for myself to read more books in 2022. Since making that goal I have read four novels and I have two more on my shelf that I’m hoping to get through before the end of January!

I had an idea that maybe a great way to stay accountable with my goal of reading more and blogging more, I could make a new series on my blog where bi-monthly I share a book with my readers that I enjoyed and recommend.

Since part of my focus on this blog has always been motherhood, I would like to share some children’s books in this series as well. The truth is, sometimes I get a book for my daughter, and I enjoy it just as much as she does, or more! When I was my daughter’s age, I loved storytime at school and eventually taking out books from the school library, but I didn’t have many books at home until I was a bit older. Because of this, I’m finding that now as a mom, I have fallen in love with some children’s books that I was never exposed to. Today’s selection is an example of one of those books.

Life Story by Virginia Lee Burton

Recommended for ages 8+

Told through five acts, Burton’s art and text tell the history of earth from beginning to present day. Readers will gain an in-depth understanding of the planet’s history and their leading roles in it today. The book has been updated with cutting-edge science, including up-to-the-minute information on fossil records and the geologic principles.


Hear me out – this is a children’s book, but I strongly believe that everyone should read this book, children and adults alike. Life Story takes the collosol task of telling the story of our planet Earth and succeeds in making it easy to read and understand. I have learned things in this book about Earth’s beginning stages that I am certain I never learned in school. It is truly impressive to me that a writer could make such a detailed and complex subject so digestible for kids. And the truth is, by doing so, Burton has helped educate children and adults alike.
The format of Life Story is also unique in that, it tells Earth’s story in a series of “acts”, as though you were watching a play. The book’s art reflects this! Each page – between the text and art – is so thoughtfully put together.

I discovered this book after first reading Virginia Lee Burton’s book The Little House. Julia and I both enjoyed the story so much I decided to learn more about Burton’s work. The above description of Life Story stood out to me but the reader reviews absolutely sold me.

When it comes to Life Story, the positive reviews are overwhelming! I scrolled through reviews on both Amazon and ThriftBooks and I was surprised to see that there were so many detailed personal accounts of how this book held a special place in readers’ hearts. Many of the readers who are now parents shared that they have either repurchased or passed down their copy to their own children. The glowing reviews of Life Story were endless, so I decided to find out for myself what the hype was all about and I was not disappointed.

While Julia is a bit young yet to fully grasp this book, we have done a read-through together (it is quite long so I’m impressed she made it through) and she kept pausing to ask questions. It can be a great early introduction to science, space, and geography for kids her age, especially when looked at in small doses. I am looking forward to visiting it more when she is closer to the recommended age of eight or so. Until then…I have read it numerous times and have enjoyed it thoroughly. Now I am sharing it with you, reader!

Please do consider picking this book up and giving it a read! If you need any additional convincing I suggest checking out some of the reviews here and here.

That concludes the first post of my Book Spotlight series! I hope that you enjoyed this post and I look forward to sharing another book with you soon. My next Book Spotlight will be on a book at the adult level so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Sending love and light,

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