What I Learned about Green Living from Little House on the Prairie

Ever since Audrey turned five, I’ve been reading children’s novels out loud to her. In under a year and a half, we’ve completed thirty books together—almost all old favorites from my youth. Quite a few of them may have been responsible for turning me on to green living. Let’s review:

The Little House on the Prairie series. After reading Little House in the Big Woods, little Audrey exclaimed, “Ma, let’s give away all my toys! For Christmas, I’ll be content with a few pieces of candy and a homemade doll to replace my corncob!” All right, so she didn’t go that far, but she is obsessed with pioneer living. She has taken to wearing an apron over dresses and has asked her grandmother to make her a compete pioneer ensemble, including bloomers and a bonnet. (Wait, so it seems that the books have sparked her materialistic impulses rather than dampened them. Hm.)
(more…)

Chapter Books for Reading Out Loud to Young Children

This year will be a banner year for reading in my household. Right after my daughter’s fifth birthday, I made an amazing discovery: Audrey finally has the attention span to listen to me read chapter books out loud!

The first book we tried was The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. She surprised me with her ability to follow this 111-year-old tale of Dorothy and her little dog Toto’s extraordinary adventure. There are some scary parts (the flying monkeys creeped her out), but she stuck with it until the end.

I had fond memories of the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, so we tried that next. Success!
(more…)