Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Little House on the Prairie

Peeper and I have begun reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and she's loving it!

A few months ago, we checked out a book of stories about Laura and her dog Jack, that were compiled from several of the books, and she liked that but wasn't real into it. Shortly before our trip to Texas, though, Shrike and I were going through the box of "books that she's not ready for" to get out some that she is now ready for, and found a "special read-aloud edition" of Little House on the Prairie.

I started reading it to her, and she really got into it this time. She's asked lots of questions, made me re-read some of the scary parts repeatedly, and looks forward to the next installment each night.

We finished it up last night, and backtracked to Little House in the Big Woods, which was the first of the series, and finished it tonight.

I found the whole TV series on YouTube, and we watched the pilot, which was evidently a two-hour special (90 minutes with commercials removed) that basically covers the Little House on the Prairie book from start to fnish, and we watched that together.

I've watched the first couple of episodes after that, but they are set in the location of one of the later books, so she can't watch any of them until we've read that far. Then I will probably need to preview them and pick and choose, because it seems that there were some "very special episodes" that touched on topics that Laura herself certainly never discussed.

Meanwhile, I've been reading about the actual historical facts behind the books, and all the museums that have been established in the various towns featured in the books, and found actual photos of the real Ma and Pa Ingalls. Let's just say he was no Michael Landon, and she was no Karen Grassle.

(Confession: I just found out Karen Grassle's name. For some reason, I've always thought Ma Ingalls was played by Michael Learned. No, she was Mama Walton. I can see how I got confused, I suppose. I guess I should've know that they wouldn't have Ma and Pa played by people with the same name. It's bad enough that Mary and Laura were both Melissas. Can you imagine the confuse on the set?)
So, any-hoo. Peeper's diggin' the prairie life, so we're talking about doing some activities and projects to go along with some of the things we're learning about. As soon as I can get to a grocery store for some heavy whipping cream, we are totally making butter.

And today, we did this:

As you can tell, Peeper helped with "drawing lines to represent the boards that the wagon is made out of" and "drawing the spokes of the wagon wheels." She decided to go a little more festive with it, and declared it "The most decorateded wagon ever in the world."

Ma, Pa and Baby Carrie in the wagon. This photo was taken before we'd figured out who was going to play Mary and Laura. Those roles have now been cast (Dorothy as Laura and Lemon Chiffon as Mary) so I'll try to get some pictures of the whole clan tomorrow. We even have a little plastic bulldog to play Jack.

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