Little House Christmas (Little House Series)

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Overview

In her beloved Little House books, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes some of the Christmases she and her family celebrate on the frontier. Even if they don't have much money for presents, they always have one another, and that's enough to make any Christmas merry. This lavish gift book gathers together five of Laura's classic Christmas stories from Little House in the Big Woods, Little Houes on the Prairie, and On the Banks of Plum Creek, and is illustrated with gently colorized versions of Garth Williams' original ...
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Overview

In her beloved Little House books, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes some of the Christmases she and her family celebrate on the frontier. Even if they don't have much money for presents, they always have one another, and that's enough to make any Christmas merry. This lavish gift book gathers together five of Laura's classic Christmas stories from Little House in the Big Woods, Little Houes on the Prairie, and On the Banks of Plum Creek, and is illustrated with gently colorized versions of Garth Williams' original art. Bring these stories home with you as part of your own Christmas celebration!

And, this Christmas, you can also be Laura with the Little House Christmas Theater Kit! Inside this wonderful new kit is everything you need to put on two Christmas plays adapted from the Little House books. Ask for this kit at a bookstore near you, and make your Christmas this year a Little House Christmas!

A collection of stories which describe the experiences of a pioneer girl and her family as they celebrate various Christmases In the Big Woods in Wisconsin, on the prairie in Indian Territory, and On the banks of Plum Creek.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
For more than sixty years children have been enthralled by the Little House Books. This new compilation of the family-centered holiday celebrations has been pulled into one volume and is enhanced by Williams' original illustrations. From wintertime in the Big Woods of Wisconsin with aunts uncles and cousins, to more isolated years on the prairie where Santa delivers his presents by pack mule, and finally to the year of the Christmas blizzard on Plum Creek, Laura's joy at simple pleasures and just being loved by her family makes these Christmas stories a delight.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
For those who like to return to holiday favorites year after year, there is a new version to consider for your collection. Wilder's Little House Christmas stories full of tradition and family warmth have been gathered between the covers of A Little House Christmas
From Barnes & Noble
With charming color illustrations by Garth Williams, here are Wilder's wonderful holiday stories from her Little House books, celebrating Christmas in the Big Woods, on the prairie, & on the banks of Plum Creek. Ages 8-12. 8" x 10 1/2".
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060274894
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/30/1997
  • Series: Little House Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.37 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Millions of readers have read -- and re-read -- the Little House on the Prairie books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s charming, fascinating tales of her own girlhood spent in the American West. The series, which is both a document of frontier-town America in the 19th century and a beautifully told coming-of-age story, is beloved by readers everywhere for their universal truths about family, love, and endurance in the face of hardship.

Biography

"I wanted the children now to understand more about the beginnings of things, to know what is behind the things they see -- what it is that made America as they know it," Laura Ingalls Wilder once said. Wilder was born in 1867, more than 60 years before she began writing her autobiographical fiction, and had witnessed the transformation of the American frontier from a barely populated patchwork of homestead lots to a bustling society of towns, trains and telephones.

Early pictures of Laura Ingalls show a young woman in a buttoned, stiff-collared dress, but there's nothing prim or quaint about the childhood she memorialized in her Little House books. Along with the expected privations of prairie life, the Ingalls family faced droughts, fires, blizzards, bears and grasshopper plagues. Although she didn't graduate from high school, Wilder had enough schooling to get a teaching license, and took her first teaching job at the age of 15.

Later, Wilder and her husband settled on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks, where Wilder began writing about farm life for newspapers and magazines. She didn't try her hand at books until 1930, when she started chronicling her childhood at the urging of her daughter Rose. Her first effort at an autobiography, Pioneer Girl, failed to find a publisher, but it spurred a second effort, a set of eight "historical novels," as Wilder called them, based on her own life.

Little House in the Big Woods (1932) was an instant hit. It was followed by a new volume every two years or so, and the series' success snowballed until thousands of fans were waiting eagerly for each new installment. "Ms. Wilder has caught the very essence of pioneer life, the satisfaction of hard work, the thrill of accomplishment, safety and comfort made possible through resourcefulness and exertion," said the New York Times review of Little House on the Prairie (1935).

In 1954, the American Library Association established the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to honor the lifetime achievement of a children's author or illustrator; Wilder herself was the first recipient. After Wilder's death in 1957, historical societies sprang up to preserve what they could of her childhood homes, and her manuscripts and journals provided the material for several more books. A TV series based on the books, Little House on the Prairie, ran from 1974 to 1984 and renewed interest in Wilder's work and life. More recently, fictionalized biographies of her daughter, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have appeared.

Wilder's books have now been translated into over 40 languages, and still provide an engrossing history lesson for young readers, as well as insight into the frontier values that Wilder once catalogued as "courage, self-reliance, independence, integrity and helpfulness" -- values, in her words, worth "as much today as they ever were to help us over the rough places."

Good To Know

Wilder's daughter, the writer Rose Wilder Lane, helped revise her mother's books; the collaboration was so extensive that one biographer proposed Rose was the "real" author of the Little House books. Most agree that Rose was, if not author or co-author, instrumental in suggesting the project to her mother and shaping it for publication.

After her books were published, fan mail for Wilder poured in; among more than a thousand cards and gifts she received for her birthday in 1951 was a cablegram of congratulations from General Douglas MacArthur.

Wilder, who had grown up making long journeys by covered wagon, took her first airplane ride at the age of 87, on a visit to Rose in Danbury, Connecticut.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mrs. A.J. Wilder
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1867
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pepin, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      February 10, 1957
    2. Place of Death:
      Mansfield, Missouri

Read an Excerpt

Christmas



For a long time it seemed that Christmas would never come. On Christmas, Uncle Andrew and Aunt Delia, Uncle Wesley and Aunt Lindy, and all the cousins were coming to dinner. It would be the best dinner of the whole year. And a good boy might get something in his stocking. Bad boys found nothing but switches in their stockings on Christmas morning. Almanzo tried to be good for so long that he could hardly stand the strain.

But at last it was the day before Christmas and Alice and Royal and Eliza Jane were home again. The girls were cleaning the whole house, and Mother was baking. Royal helped Father with the threshing, but Almanzohad to help in the house. He remembered the switch, and tried to be willing and cheerful.

He had to scour the steel knives and forks, and polish the silver. He had to wear an apron around his neck. He took the scouring-brick and scraped a pile of red dust off it, and then with a wet cloth he rubbed the dust up and down on the knives and forks.

The kitchen was full of delicious smells. Newly baked bread was cooling, frosted cakes and cookies and mince pies and pumpkin pies filled the pantry shelves, cranberries bubbled on the stove. Mother was making dressing for the goose.

Outdoors, the sun was shining on the snow. The icicles twinkled all along the eaves. Far away sleigh-bells faintly jingled, and from the barns came the joyful thud-thud! thud-thud! of the flails. But when all the steel knives and forks were done, Almanzo soberly polished the silver.

Then he had to run to the attic for sage; he had to run down cellar for apples, and upstairs again for onions. He filled the woodbox. Hehurried in the cold to fetch water from the pump. He thought maybe he was through, then, anyway for a minute. But no; he had to polish the diningroom side of the stove.

"Do the parlor side yourself, Eliza Jane," Mother said. "Almanzo might spill the blacking."

Almanzo's insides quaked. He knew what would happen if Mother knew about that black splotch, hidden on the parlor wall. He didn't want to get a switch in his Christmas stocking, but he would far rather find a switch there than have Father take him to the woodshed.

That night everyone was tired, and the house was so clean and neat that nobody dared touch anything. After supper Mother put the stuffed, fat goose and the little pig into the heater's oven to roast slowly all night. Father set the dampers and wound the clock. Almanzo and Royal hung clean socks on the back of a chair, and Alice and Eliza Jane hung stockings on the back of another chair.

Then they all took candles and went to bed.

It was still dark when Almanzo woke up. He felt excited, and then he. remembered that this was Christmas morning. He jerked back the covers and jumped onto something alive that squirmed. It was Royal. He had forgotten that Royal was there, but he scrambled over him, yelling:

"Christmas! Christmas! Merry Christmas!"

He pulled his trousers. over his nightshirt. Royal jumped out of bed and lighted the candle. Almanzo grabbed the candle, and Royal shouted:

"Hi! Leave that be! Where's my pants?"

But Almanzo was already running downstairs. Alice and Eliza Jane were flying from their room, but Almanzo beat them. He saw his sock hanging all lumpy; he set down the candle and grabbed his sock. The first thing he pulled out was a cap, a boughten cap!

The plaid cloth was machine-woven. So was the lining. Even the sewing was machine-sewing. And the ear-muffs were buttoned over the top.

Almanzo yelled. He had not even hoped for such a cap. He looked at it, inside and out; he felt the cloth and the sleek lining. He put the cap on his head. It was a little large, because he was growing. So he could wear it a long time.

Eliza Jane and Alice were digging into their stockings and squealing, and Royal had a silk muffler. Almanzo thrust his hand into his sock again, and pulled out a nickel's worth of horehound candy. He bit off the end of one stick. The outside melted like maple sugar, but the inside was hard and could be sucked for hours.

Then he pulled out a new pair of mittens. Mother had knit the wrists and backs in a fancy stitch. He pulled out an orange, and he pulled out a little package of dried figs. And he thought that was all. He thought no boy ever had a better Christmas.

But in the toe of the sock there was still something more. It was small and thin and hard. Almanzo couldn't imagine what it was. He pulled it out, and it was a jack-knife. It had four blades.

Almanzo yelled and yelled. He snapped all the blades open, sharp and shining, and he yelled,

"Alice, look! Look, Royal! Lookee, lookee my jack-knife! Lookee my cap!"

Father's voice came out of the dark bedroom and said:

"Look at the clock."

They all looked at one another. Then Royal held up the candle and they looked at the tall clock. Its hands pointed to half past three.

Even Eliza Jane did not know what to do. They had waked up Father and Mother, an hour and a half before time to get up.

"What time is it?" Father asked.

Almanzo looked at Royal. Royal and Almanzo looked at Eliza Jane. Eliza Jane swallowed, and opened her mouth, but Alice said:

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2002

    Wonderful Christmas

    This was a feel good read. It makes you apprecitate the real meaning of Christmas being with family and just how much they mean to us. Christmas then was a more peaceful and joyous time. The entire family worked together to make Christmas special.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2000

    'OLDEN TIMES' Christmas stories

    As children eagerly read the 'fantasy' of today's Harry Potter, then 'children' young and old will enjoy the 'fantasy' of christmas celebrations of long, long ago...What child doesn't express a wish of knowing what things were like in the 'olden days'? This volume provides the seasonal stories of Laura and her family in wonderful descriptive detail...you are there in the Ingalls home, around their table, beside their fireplace, and with their guests. The historical value of these stories are as important as their entertainment value. This volume belongs in any home where children love to be read to and love to learn about 'Christmas past.'

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