A new exhibit has been installed at the Museum of Me and it couldn’t be more . . . perfect . . . for me because it’s about my favorite book as a kid. Let’s take a trip back to 10 year old Carole. The future librarian. Her favorite book was actually a series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder and called, affectionately, The Little House Books.
I’m not sure exactly how old I was when I read Little House in the Big Woods for the first time. The suggested age level is 8-12, but I was a pretty advanced reader and I’m fairly certain I read this in 2nd grade. And once I read that one, I couldn’t wait to read all of the others. Of course, as Laura matured, so did the nature of the books and I know my mother held me back some before she’d let me read the later ones, but I do know that by the time I finished elementary school I had read them all. Multiple times.
I loved that Laura was so real. I loved that Ma and Pa had a loving relationship (and we shan’t discuss the fantasy that probably was.) I loved that the books were historical and set during a time I wish I could have experienced myself. I loved that they traveled by covered wagon and grew their own food and struggled and persisted and triumphed. I loved the illustrations by Garth Williams and the romance that blossomed between Laura and Almanzo when she was a young lady. I loved that Laura became a teacher and then a wife with a husband and child and home of her own. I think my favorite, of all of the books, was Little Town On the Prairie, but it’s very hard to actually choose.
You know what I did not love? That they turned my favorite books into a television series. And, in doing so, they completely abandoned the real things that happened for sensationalized stories and 60 minute plots. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t watch it, because I did. And I wanted Michael Landon to be my father in the worst way. But this was also my first (and certainly not last) realization that the book is always, always better than the television show or movie.
Thanks for joining us in the library . . . I mean exhibit hall . . . this month. Check back in on the 3rd Monday of June for a exhibit in the Museum of Me. And shout out to Kym for this really fun monthly blog prompt!