LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Illustrations by Garth Williams
HarperCollins, 2004 (Full Color Edition); First published in 1932
The Easter Bunny can be a bit flighty sometimes. This year she (I’m sure it’s a she) left a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS in my daughter’s Easter basket. Great book and one I have been excited to share with the kids. But the EB brought the Full-Color Collector’s Edition, and I’m a stickler for the original. (In my humble opinion, Garth William’s drawings need no embellishment of any kind.) Then again, I shouldn’t criticize the Easter Bunny … I am sure she has a lot on her mind and would not have made such a silly mistake if she had even a moment of time to think straight.
The kids and I finished reading LITTLE HOUSE this week and I am thrilled to report that everyone—seven-year-old boys included—enjoyed it. All three kids were fascinated by the time period and the lack of amenities. There were constant interruptions as they asked me “What is a churn-dash? What is a bonnet? Why didn’t Ma just buy cheese at the grocery store? Could we stop using cars and start using horses and carriages? Could you and dad build a house? Why didn’t Laura and Mary wear shoes in the summer? Maple syrup used to come from trees?” They are certainly twenty-first century kids, but I was happy to discover they are genuinely curious about the past.
We plan to work our way through the series. As luck would have it, I found a copy of the second book, FARMER BOY, at a used bookstore. No coloration, no frills, yellowed pages with that lovely old book smell … and I’m certain I paid much less than the Easter Bunny did.