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Kid’s Pick–All Things Laura Ingalls Wilder


I joke and say that Lulu is the world’s youngest living expert on Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I’m really only half-way kidding.  Way back before Christmas, we began checking out audiobooks of LIW’s books from the library.  We decided that a few of these audiobooks (along with a few others) would be a joy to find under the tree (or in the same room as the tree, as is the case at our house) come Christmas morning.  I thought this would be a short-lived obsession, but it’s still going strong.  I honestly think four-and-a-half year old Lulu (and sometimes even three-year-old Louise) would rather listen to a Little House story than do anything else in the world.  I have to put limits on the length of time they can listen.  Really.

Our whole family has been amazed at the things our girls have learned through this obsession.  I have recorded just a few of the words and phrases that they have used just since the middle of January:

  • scarlet fever
  • bureau (“I keep my treasures in my bureau.”–Lulu, age 4 1/2)
  • fever ague
  • “We’re fidgeting.”
  • malaria

Do you notice a pattern?  My children have a rather morbid interest in diseases, obviously.  : )

The one that astounded me the most was one day at the beginning of February when Lulu, who was sitting in her car seat and looking at the sunset through the van window, said,  “Is that the West?”  Now I know that it is probably not unusual for a preschooler to have picked up on a fact like this through discussion or reading, but I honestly could not remember having ever discussed this with her.  When I questioned her about how she knew that, she responded with a rather lengthy explanation of something that happened in one of the Little House books (I believe On the Banks of Plum Creek was the current audio-obsession) that taught her that.

Can I just say that these audiobooks are a definite Kid’s Pick here at the House of Hope?


The latest development in this ongoing saga happened last Thursday while the girls were playing in their playroom.  Steady Eddie and I have grown accustomed to answering to Ma and Pa; likewise, we know the identities of Mary, Laura, and Baby Carrie here in our own household, too.  Steady Eddie had moved some old-timey school desks into the playroom earlier in the week, and the girls were having a grand time organizing their school supplies and playing school.  Lulu came skipping out of the playroom with a little bucket in hand, and when I asked her what it was, she responded, “My tin pail.”  Oh, of course.  She had fixed her school-day lunch, complete with wooden butter, a bottle of ketchup, a pork-chop, a chicken leg, and a banana, in a patriotic pail left over from some Independence Day festivity.  I love their book-based imaginative play!

Are you interested in other Kids’ Picks?  If so, head on over to 5 Minutes for Books!

18 Responses

  1. I thought I was Laura when I was a child. I still have all my books. My daughter is four. I think we will start reading these too! I am also collecting all the seasons of the show on DVD. I hope she will enjoy Little House as much as I did.

    Great post! It sounds like you have some little pioneers on your hands!

  2. LOL on your kids and diseases! THat’s awesome.

    I just read these books for the first time through last year – and I loved them! It’s fabulous that you are introducing them to YOUR kids at such a young age!

  3. My son (age 7) loves audio books as well. He also really liked the Adventures in Odyssey stories as well. They are a great thing to listen to when he’s playing in his room, and they are a great way to keep him from wanting to watch tv as well.

  4. I adored Laura Ingalls as a child. I read the books until they fell apart and I loved the TV show.

    Just yesterday we were at the thrift store and I found two of the books and bought them for Bria. I hope she loves them as much as I did, but I think I should find Little House in the Big Woods first. Glad to hear how much your girls love them!

  5. This is the sweetest thing in the world! I love hearing what an impact these books have had on your children! Thank you for sharing.

  6. I loved the LIW books when I was young, and audiobooks sound like an absolutely perfect way to share it with your little ones! Very cute about the diseases. My oldest son occasionally fixates on stuff like that too. 🙂

  7. I never got into the LIW books as a child (I know, an absolute abomination!), but I wonder if my little girl will enjoy them when she’s older. I did love the tin pail– too cute. 🙂

  8. I love this post. My girls love these three audiobooks too, and we own the first two.

    For a long time after Older Daughter acquired ‘Prairie’ for her birthday, she wouldn’t listen to it again. The episode where Jack is temporarily lost was too much for her. But she overcame it, and now they listen CONSTANTLY.

    I confess, I love them too. This morning as I was drying my hair, I heard the episode where Mr Edwards meets Santa, and teared up (AGAIN).

  9. What a wonderful post. Your girls are gaining so much in addition to the love of a good story and books. The LIW books to celebrate the beauty of a good family.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I finished Plum Creek and will have my review up tomorrow.

    BTW, my daughter is reading them to her girls and my mother and I are also re-reading them – four generations. They are timeless. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Your girls are precious. 🙂 We JUST started our first Little House book as our lunchtime readaloud last week (the Big Woods). My girls are enjoying it because it’s about 3 sisters, just like we have at home … but I would love it if it would turn into imaginative play like yours have done. (I’m guessing you haven’t wanted any of the TV series with your yet, right? I’m looking forward to doing that with my girls down the road, but I’m thinking that at five, my oldest is still too young).

  11. Little House books are great for so much history and vocabulary. I vividly remember a teacher being flabbergasted because I knew what sorrel was. My daughters, however, would not read the books. Glad yours likes them!

  12. […] Lucifer and the dog.)  Instead, Lulu betook herself to the playroom to listen to more of the Little House tales while Louise and I learned how things came out for […]

  13. […] 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm | In Bloggy Randomness, Bookish Thoughts, Education | Living daily with my own would-be Mary and Laura brought this beautiful post by Ann Voskamp even closer to home for me.  Read and […]

  14. […] Wilder Award in 1992.  (If you’re a regular reader at Hope Is the Word, you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder is a very important person in our home, so this really catches my attention!)  The illustrations in Stone Soup are simple drawings of […]

  15. […] picture book section of our library and brought them home because I thought one would appeal to my pioneer loving girls and because I like poetry and nature, so the other one appealed to me.  It turns out I was right […]

  16. […] (If you haven’t been reading here at Hope Is the Word for very long, you can read here and here about our Laura-obsession.)  Never mind the fact that they listen to at least an hour’s […]

  17. […] began a running list of things that the girls have mentioned that I know they have learned through their immersion in these […]

  18. […] and I don’t think it ruined me as a reader.  The tide will turn, and it will be back to Little House or Charlotte’s Web or even Little Women, which Lulu listened to about a third of before I […]

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