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Little House Books for Children
A Prairie Dress
The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Although I adored all the Little House books as a child and as a mother, I must admit to having some favorites. Because of my lifelong love of needlework, my favorite books are those in which a good deal of sewing, knitting, and crocheting takes place.
While the early books describe the girls sewing patchwork quilt blocks or Ma knitting mittens, the later books involve young ladies getting ready for college or for marriage. In Little Town on the Prairie, Mary is finally able to go to the college for the blind in Iowa. The book describes in great detail the process Ma needed to go through to make Mary's best dress for college. She first had to create the pattern from dressmaker charts using Mary's measurements. Then there was the lining to fit, then the cutting and sewing of the dress itself.
In These Happy, Golden Years, Laura accepts Almanzo's proposal of marriage and must prepare her trousseau. At this point, Pa buys a sewing machine to help with the work. Laura Ingalls Wilder obviously remembers fondly those days of sewing with her Ma. Sheets, nightgowns, and a good black dress are just some of the items a woman needed to have ready before the wedding day.
I recommend enjoying some crafts along with children as they read these books or as you read them aloud together. Ma, Laura, Mary, and the others may inspire a child to become an accomplished knitter or dressmaker. The earlier books also include descriptions of making straw hats, crocheting lace, and making a button necklace. Share a Little House book with a child in your life some time soon!
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Note for Writing Teachers
I am currently teaching a beginner's writing class for elementary students. I read to them from great books like Little House in the Big Woods" so they will develop a feel for what good writing is and does. Wilder's descriptions are so vivid!