Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 at 6:58 am

I’m glad I set my expectations low for this year’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge – because we didn’t get far.

But Tirzah Mae and I read Little House in the Big Woods together during rest time. I had to convince her to put down the picture books so we could pick up Laura nearly every day – but, nearly every day, she tried to convince me to keep reading Laura when I came to the end of the chapter. So I’m going to call it a win.

She asked me to re-read “the part where Aunt Ruby and Aunt Docia are fixing their hair” several times and named Louis’s doll “Charles” after Pa. The harmonica was renamed as a fiddle, all the better to play “Buffalo Girls” with. We played with a balloon like Laura and Mary played with the pig’s bladder (although Tirzah Mae and Louis had a harder time sharing the balloon than Laura described her and her sister having!)

I occasionally wondered how much Tirzah Mae was understanding, but the things she talked about indicated that she understood more than I thought. I’ve also come to realize that some of the beauty of this first volume is its episodic quality. The seasons of the year (from the onset of one winter to autumn of the next year) provide structure for the book, but there is no overall narrative arc that one must understand. So if Tirzah Mae doesn’t understand churning butter? No problem. She’ll learn later and will still be able to enjoy the dance at Grandpa’s house.

I interviewed Tirzah Mae briefly this morning (about a week after we finished) to hear her thoughts on the book.

Which part do you remember?
The bear

Was there one bear or two bears?
One bear

What was the other one?
The stump of a bear

What did papa do?
He’s not papa, he’s pa.

So, what did pa do?
I don’t know. Hit it with a stick.

Should we read Laura again next year?
No… Just today.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be revisiting Laura in the future :-)

Thanks to Barbara for providing the impetus to continue reading and re-reading Laura year after year!

Postscript: Louis also enjoyed a few of the “My Little House books” books – and I caught a great photo of him perusing one here.


Reader Comments (3):

  1. Dianna says:

    Bekah, I enjoyed reading about your experience of reading Little House in the Big Woods with Tizrah Mae. Brought back memories of when my children were young. Loved her answer to “So, what did Pa do?” regarding the bear. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Barbara H. says:

    I’m so glad they both enjoyed their books!

  3. Angela says:

    That’s so cute. I haven’t read the Little House books with my niece yet because I assumed she wasn’t old enough yet. But maybe I’ll have to try it. We currently read the My First Little House books and she has so many questions about covered wagons.

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