Post by Mark T. Locker.
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
One of the things I love about my kid is how open he is to all genres of fiction. We have read everything from Harry Potter to Because of Winn-Dixie and from Greek mythology to tales of brave animals. None of it seems to be outside of his realm of interest. So I decided to test the limits of his attention and began reading to him the story of a little girl and her family living in the middle of the woods in pioneer-era Wisconsin.
The outcome? He enjoys it! We haven’t discussed the finer points of what appeals to him but every time I think it’s too boring to carry on reading, he asks me to read him a little bit more. I have only watched the television series “Little House on the Prairie” and have never read these books before so it’s educational for all of us. What I find interesting is the didactic tone the book takes, though I find a lot of books of that era are a little bit preachy. Discussing the novel with my brother, we both agreed that some passages seem designed specifically to tell kids these days how much better they have it. And it’s true; I can’t picture my son spending every Sunday reading catechism and quietly reflecting. He can barely read for 20 minutes without asking 20 times if he can stop reading!
It’s a fascinating look at daily life in the frontier wilderness of Midwest America. She certainly spares no details in everything from the process of curing meat to churning butter and cleaning a rifle. And yet, it’s interesting. It definitely gives you some perspective on what “hardship” might mean. I, for one, wouldn’t mind visiting that time for a little bit but come the Sabbath, I’d need to get online.
Great family bedtime reading to fill your dreams with wildcats, bears, and log splitting.