A few weeks ago, Ellie and I started reading the Little House series. She as really into the idea of reading a chapter book, but was clearly paying zero attention to Bridge to Terabithia. No pictures, a little above her reading level, kind of a different story. Plus, I don't remember reading it as a kid, and was informed that one of the lead characters dies in the end, so maybe no the best for an already sensitive five year old. So I told her we were going to move on to something better. She has a children's book version of Little House in the Big Woods (a very short book with lots of pictures, more of a bedtime story) so she was familiar with the idea, and I'd already told her (about a million times) that it was my favorite book series growing up.
It's so fun to be reading with her. We read the better part of a chapter at night (and before nap) so we're already onto Little House on the Prairie. Some things I have learned, now re-reading as an adult: there's a lot of stories that end with someone getting their ass whooped for disobedience (mostly Pa) and there's a lot of stories about guns and shooting things. Since we do not own firearms or cut switches, that has been interesting. There's also a lot of panthers on the attack, which thankfully we are also not dealing with around town - just the random skunk wandering through the back yard.
Still, the funny part is watching the kids all of a sudden incorporate these new concepts into their play. They've been spending a lot of time laying under the train table, which has become their tent, and then they run around the house, brandishing guns (mostly sticks, or Adam's trash grabber) to fight off some bears. I can't blame them, because how many years did I spend in dress up clothes, pretending to be riding around in a covered wagon (a Radio Flyer with a piece of card board over the top can work in a pinch.) I can still remember getting Little House in the Big Woods for my sixth birthday from my Grandma, and curling up in bed to listen to my mom read to me, and it's truly wonderful to be sharing this now with Ellie.