Monday, September 07, 2009

In LOVE with Laura Ingalls Wilder

At the beginning of the summer, on a hunch, I gave Ellie the box set of The Little House on the Prairie Books, all 9 of them. I thought maybe she'd find an interest. Well, as a parent, you think that quite a bit. Always looking for things that might strike your child's fancy. Right? Unfortunately, if you looked in the closets of our house,
you would find...
barely worn dance shoes,
unread books
lonely leotards
and even a couple games that have never been played.

NOT THIS TIME.

The books became her obsession this summer. Every spare moment she had, she'd come beg me, "mommy, can I pllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaase go read my book?"

Hmmmm. Let me think. Engross yourself in a set of classic sequels, many of which have been named Newberry Honor books?

Delve into a multi-layered story that was dear to me as a child?

(though I didn't read the books, I LOVED the TV show)

Well.... OK.

So read them she did...
one by one soaking up the details of Laura's life.

From childhood to marriage and everything in between,

  • Little House in the Big Woods
  • Farmer Boy
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake
  • The Long Winter
  • Little Town on the Prairie
  • These Happy Golden Years
  • The First Four Years
and by mid-August she had tearfully shut the last page.

Like a great movie you never want to end, so felt Ellie as her dear story came to a close.

Thank goodness my cousin Ronda came to the rescue.

They themselves had been on quite a summer Laura quest... visiting all the Laura Ingalls Wilder houses in America, traveling to places such as North Dakota, Minnesota and Missouri!!! Wow!

The last piece of their puzzle was the Little House on the Prairie in Independence, Kansas. Graciously, they asked Ellie to go with her cousin Ana, and here are Ellie's pics!Thanks Ronda and Cousin Ana for taking Ellie along on your trip!!Post Note: While at the library, looking for something else to grab her interest, the librarian told us about some books by Roger Lea MacBride. They are the fictional account of the life Rose Wilder, Laura's daughter. So, she's at it again. Waking up early so she can read before school, reading while eating breakfast, reading in the bathtub, reading with a tiny flashlight in bed at night. Poor girl, she can't help it. Her obsession with reading is a genetic trait!!

12 Wonderful Responses:

Valerie said...

Ah, this post warms my heart as I am a huge reader as well! I've driven past the one in Missouri a few times, wishing we had the time to stop. It's in a very pretty area. My mom and I are going to see the Little House on the Prairie musical that's coming to T-Town this November. You might want to look into tickets for that one -- Melissa Gilbert will be playing Ma!

Audra Krell said...

So, so precious!!! I have the exact same picture, standing in the entrance of her cabin, only difference is I had long brown hair which I put into braids to be like Melissa Gilbert on the show. I love that she's so interested in reading now. Still looking for a series or even a single book to capture my boys.
As for you, follow @halfpintingalls on twitter. It makes me laugh out loud every singe time she posts. Hope all is well Annie!

Audra Krell said...

So, so precious!!! I have the exact same picture, standing in the entrance of her cabin, only difference is I had long brown hair which I put into braids to be like Melissa Gilbert on the show. I love that she's so interested in reading now. Still looking for a series or even a single book to capture my boys.
As for you, follow @halfpintingalls on twitter. It makes me laugh out loud every singe time she posts. Hope all is well Annie!

Rena said...

Oh how sweet! To live back on that Prairie. For a little while. Or maybe a day. And then the mosquitoes, heat and layered clothing would get to me.

But life would be simpler. I LOVED watching Little House on the Prairie. Sadly, just LAST NIGHT in our hotel on our little beach getaway (insert Hallelujah Chorus here), Joe was flipping channels and stopped on Little House when Courtney said, "OH ON! You're not gonna' leave it here on some black and white?"

SOME BLACK AND WHITE? Are you KIDDING me, Court? Well, in her defense, he didn't leave it there long enough for her to catch that it was indeed Little House on the Prairie.

Precious story, precious post.

And now I shall end this mini-comment novel with a holy (or unholy) closure (Boo Mama's infamous post on closures--read it!).

Holier than thou,
Me

The End.

(I was kidding, people. I'm so NOTTT holier than thou, or thee, or Annie. SO NOT! GO READ THAT POST if you haven't!)

Anonymous said...

Like Mother, like Daughter! I am so happy that Ellie gets as much enjoyment out of reading as you did Annie. You did not mention that as you were eating cereal, you would read the cereal box if nothing else was readily available. You would just read anything because you loved reading so much. Mom

ASHLEY said...

how precious...i must've read those same books a bazillion times...i watched every episode and cried when they were over....i also had little house on the prairie colorforms and would ask my mom to braid my hair every day in third grade just like laura's....i wish someone in TV land would re-make the weekly series for today's families...i've rented the DVD's at the library and they do look "old" and "worn"...i think it would be such a GREAT "go" if someone would remake the series....don't you?? glad she enjoyed them....i read all the time just like that...you might try finding the "besty-tacy" series....it is a "tie" for me with the little house books....most are out of print but the books are SOOOO good...the author is maud hart lovelace and my anna (almost nine) LOVES THEM!!!!! happy reading...lots of hugs and blessings!

Shannon said...

I DREAMED of being Laura Ingalls, or one of the Boxcar children, or Alec in the Black Stallion series. The little imaginary world of my childhood. How fun for Ellie!

♥georgie♥ said...

Anne that is just so awesome! I remember being in elementary and the teacher reading them to us...
and that is ever awesomer that she got to visit a LIW homestead...very cool and what a way to end the book series

Anonymous said...

Thats AWESOME! Ellie I loved Little House on the Prairie as a kid. It was an awesome show I'm sure the books were better. Guess what Ellie my maiden last name is WILDER ! Do you think there is a connection with me and her umhhhh! research it for me. Love ya girl! I enjoyed you in the movie UP you were GREAT!!! It reminded me of you the girl Ellie not just her name but it was so you. Nicole

Kathleen said...

"Unfortunately, if you looked in the closets of our house,
you would find...
barely worn dance shoes,
unread books
lonely leotards
and even a couple games that have never been played." SO with you on this!!

What a cool field trip! So glad she enjoyed the books. My daughter loves them too!

Kathleen said...

btw, you WOULD make a FABULOUS homeschooler!

I'm just sayin'! ;)

Shannon said...

I think I was in 4th grade when I received these books for Christmas from my grandmother. The whole boxed set... and I devoured every single book!

I still have all 9 books, but they are so worn! A few have had their covers fall of, several pages have fallen out... but I still have them.

My oldest is almost 9 and we've started reading Little House in the Big Woods. So far she hasn't been as enamored with the book as I was, but she does love to read.