Unknown Treasures

I love to read. I have always loved to read. Some of my favorite books are about pioneer life. So why in the world have I never read the Little House books? I haven’t a clue. My Granny Chase even got me the whole series when I was little; I remember opening a volume each Christmas as a present, and adding it to the others on the shelf. Maybe watching the TV show growing up produced a laziness that led me to avoid the real, true stories.

There are these Little House children’s books now, illustrated by Renee Graef, that retell a little of some of the more famous stories in the original books. My in-laws got the kids a set of them a couple of years ago. As I read them to my kids, I noted how charming they were. A’s third birthday party theme was “Little House” where we dressed in bonnets and aprons, and made homemade ice cream and molasses popcorn balls. A has recently developed in her reading skills, and simply eats up the books these days, so Luke has been taking her to the library to feed. 🙂 He thought it time she start the Little House books, and brought home Little House In The Big Woods. I popped it open one night and started reading, and couldn’t put it down! I’m now on Farmer Boy, the third in the series. The picture above is of my mother in law’s well-loved set that I borrowed to read. We are planning to get her a new boxed set for Christmas. (don’t worry, she doesn’t read my blog:) They were hers, then her daughter’s, and in the opening lines of some where Laura has written “60 years ago…” Leigh Ann crossed it out and put ‘120’ (as of 1984, I believe) in her then-childish scribble. Gotta love that. I will give these back to LA after I have read them; she may not even remember ‘setting the record straight’.
I encourage anyone who has not read these fine books to do so. Two prevailing themes grab me so far:
-they have nothing! At the end of LHOTP, Pa decides to move them on from the house he built; the next morning they are ready to go. I wouldn’t be able to pack that quickly, but thinking about them makes me want to simplify and take only the essentials in our next move.
-they use everything they do have, and nothing is wasted. LHITBW tells of Mary and Laura getting to play with the pig’s bladder like a balloon (this is a special treat), and frying the pig’s tail and eating it (this is also a treat) at slaughtering time.
Truly inspiring. I wonder how many other wonderful books are out there, just waiting for me to discover them.