Friday, June 15, 2018
Little Town on the Prairie
Posted by JaneGS
I've been sporadically rereading my favorite Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder over the past several years, and just finished Little Town on the Prairie.
It's one of my favorites because Wilder does a such a fabulous job of documenting life on the many little towns that sprang up in the 19th century along railroad lines. I loved reading about how the town went from an idea to stores, homes, schoolhouse, church almost overnight. And Laura is fully engaged with the town--at first dreading the strangers who come to her prairie but then embracing them and the social life they make possible.
I paid close attention, this reading, to the things the Ingalls family ate--ground cherries and husk tomatoes (both of which are sort of like tomatillos), not to mention blackbird pie, tomatoes with cream, and lettuce with sugar.
I also paid attention to the flora and fauna Laura describes--meadowlarks (which I love during the summer in Colorado), redwing blackbirds, and thunder pumps (the colloquial name for the American bittern), and that awful needle grass that sews its way into Mary's shoes.
Reading LH books is always nostalgic for me--this time I remembered how much Laura's diligence at studying inspired me to work hard in school. Speaking of school, I've always wondered what Wilder's sister-in-law, Eliza Jane Wilder, thought of this particular book!
And then, of course, I will always love Garth Williams's warm and lovely illustrations. They are as much a part of the book as the text.
This book is part of the 2018 Back to the Classics challenge, in the children's category.