May 1, 2011

From Little House to my house

This morning I read a wonderful review of a new book that I'm going to add to my book wish list. The Wilder Life, written by Wendy McClure, chronicles her experiences as a fan of the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The review, by Colette Bancroft, Book Editor for the St. Petersburg Times, describes how McClure, a 30-something children’s book editor, becomes immersed in her quest for “la vida Laura.” In the process, she discovers much about pioneer times, modern times (including “all manner of enthusiasts”), and herself. Bancroft concludes, “If you’re a fan of the Ingalls family saga, The Wilder Life is a trip worth taking.” (You can find read the full review here

I never read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books as a child. But as a mom, I read each one of them aloud to my daughter at bedtime, long after she was old enough to read them herself. It was a cozy time, sitting on her bed night after night, often continuing way past bedtime. Because we didn't read them back-to-back, it took us about three years to finish all nine books, from Little House in the Big Woods through The First Four Years. I’ll always treasure that shared experience of discovery. Many times after we stopped for the night, the chapters I had just read stayed with me, as I pondered Laura’s experiences, the extraordinary difficulties her family faced and the small happinesses of pioneer life.

So I’m thinking about dropping a hint that McClure’s book would make a nice Mother’s Day gift. What about you? Do you have a memory about reading the Little House books?


  1. Another person here who never read Wilder's books as a child but did read them to both of her daughters and loved them - I think they are a great introduction to pioneer life for children (and parents!) to read.

  2. I agree, Greta! Many times as I'm thinking about the things my own ancestors faced, images from Wilder's books will pass through my mind. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Sounds like a great book. I read all of the books and was subjected to watching every episode of Little House on the Prairie by my mother. I'll have to check it out!


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