What is the first thought that enters your head when you hear the words, "Little House on the Prairie"? I can scarcely ever hear those words without the theme song from the tv show entering my head. I know that not much can be written about Little House that hasn't been written before, but my kids are very much in a Little House phase right now, so here we are.
This evening during our family reading time, we will finish On The Banks of Plum Creek. We have been wading through the Little House series for more than a year now, with breaks between each book to bounce around to other literature. Last night, when I asked the kids what they would like to read next, all 3 of the older kids immediately replied, "the next Little House book."
And so I wondered, what is it about these books that remains timeless and appealing to my 21st century family. Even though we choose to live more simply than many folks in this day and age, we are a far cry from uprooting our family to travel via horse-drawn wagon across the countryside, living in a wagon until a new house can be built, and foraging/planting/hunting all of our own foods. Is it the real-life adventures by children so similar to them, yet so foreign in experiences? Is it the unflagging earnestness with which the Ingalls faced each hardship? Is it the secret naughtiness that Laura sometimes wishes she could express that they can identify with?
What do you think? What in this series still holds appeal for you and your children?
As a side note, the My First Little House books are a wonderful introduction to the magic of the Ingalls family for young children. We've purchased several used and they are all thoroughly enjoyed.
The illustrations are very true to the original style of Garth Williams' illustrations which lends a level of authenticity to the picture books that might be otherwise lacking.
Even though we buy these with Finn in mind, I often catch the older kids reading them and pouring over the illustrations. I think they wish they could visit this unusually magical, yet sometimes stark and frightening, place in time.