I'm in the midst of listening to all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and what did I see? But an author interview with Laura over at the Kiddosphere!
Very amusing, with a lot of great links.
Other kidlit bloggers taking a look see at LIW: Chicken Spaghetti; Blog From the Windowsill.
I've listened to the first three books (Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, By the Banks of Plum Creek) and my general reactions as an adult reading these books:
-- the Ingalls were a lot poorer than I remembered.
-- there seems to be a lot of emphasis on things being clean; Ma keeping a clean house, the girls dusting & sweeping daily. Also, it's said so many times that the attic the girls slept in was nice, clean, big, bright -- it's like LIW is anticipating criticisms and counters them with her glowing descriptions.
-- LIW emphasizes the times when everyone ate their fill; as a grown up, I realize that must mean there were times when they did not. Seriously, I don't think a green vegetable is eaten in either of the later two books.
-- Knowing the "real" story from various books, I'm impressed at how LIW created true works of fiction. (As a matter of fact, while I do plan to read the other "Little House" books, I'm right now most interested in the "real" story.)
-- What a warm and loving family! Hugs, kisses, a lot of affection.
-- Laura isn't a perfect kid. Oh, yeah, there's a lot about the girls having to learn to obey their parents and stuff like that; but Laura's revenge on Nellie Olsen? Not only is it priceless and well plotted -- Laura doesn't get into any trouble at all. And when Laura disobeys the father based on a technicality that would make the girl in 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore proud (we weren't sliding down the haystack, we were rolling down), all Pa can do is laugh (again, as a grown up I understand the parent turned away, the shaking shoulders; I'm not sure I got this as a kid.) And Laura's anger at Mary for being the "good one" is often internal -- so not punished.
-- I guess the TV show does affect my memory; but there was a lot less Nellie Olsen in the last book than I remembered.
-- Ma was one strong woman. Yes, Pa kept wanting to move; but she supported him, and wow, when she needed to get things done they got done.
I'll post more when I've finished with the entire sequence.
Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder (First chapter of the book by John E Miller).
This Little House of Mine (Essay by Rachel F. Seidman about fiction, fact and story)