Wednesday, March 28, 2007

still on the prairie

Liz at "A Chair, a Fireplace and a Teacozy" is listening to the
"Little House" books
and has some interesting links, particularly this article on the Little House books as fiction. I've pretty much been presenting the Little House books as fact and I hope my son won't be upset about that someday; at the moment he doesn't seem to have the resentment towards "lying" I've been told many autistic children feel. Still, perhaps I should introduce the idea that Laura is telling stories.

I've been finding Little House on the Prairie less difficult reading than I expected. The only mention of a black person so far is quite positive, albeit very much a portrait of someone strange and different. I've been adding a lot of commentary to the sections about Indians, though even that is a more balanced picture that I expected. But check out the site American Indians in Children's Literature for a much more critical dissection of the portrayal of Indians than you'll find in the article above. (Thanks to BookBookBook for the pointer.)

And aside from all those philosophical considerations, what do we think? It's definitely not as cozy a story as Little House in the Big Woods, but my son seems just as enthralled by it. We start to see more of Laura's inner life in this book--perhaps because we're now at a point in the story when she was old enough to have strong memories. I was quite fascinated by Laura's problem when Mary gives her pretty beads away and Laura feels she must give her beads away too or appear selfish (a fear justified by their mother's reponse.) There's starting to be real conflict between Laura's desires and Ma and Pa's expectations of children.

Labels: , , ,


A few of them are too blurry, but if you click on the pictures in the book tour, you can read most of the titles.