Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Little House Roundup

Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post recently wrote a column on my favorite of Laura Ingalls Wilder's LITTLE HOUSE books -- the very first book, LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS. I don't agree with all his conclusions -- he is a bit dismissive of the books as nothing more than children's books -- but it's worth a read.

Dean Butler, who played Almanzo Wilder in the TV series, has produced a new documentary on Almanzo Wilder's childhood, ALMANZO WILDER: LIFE BEFORE LAURA, which will be released next year. You can see a trailer at YouTube. Over the years, Butler has appeared at events at various real LITTLE HOUSE sites. The documentary will be sold at the Wilder homestead in Malone, New York.

A musical version of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE premieres in Minnesota next summer. This appears to be related to the production I first posted about last March. At that time Melissa Gilbert (Laura in the TV series) and Patrick Swayze were said to be lined up as Ma and Pa, but they aren't mentioned in the new article.

I just learned that Missy Francis, who played adopted daughter Cassandra Cooper in the last season of LITTLE HOUSE -- a character, like many others, invented strictly for television -- obtained a Harvard degree in economics and is now, under the name Melissa Francis, an anchor on CNBC. She was dubbed "The Empress of Energy" by Larry Kudlow. Always nice when one becomes aware of a former child actress having a happy and productive adult life. More on Francis here and here.

Advent tip: rereading the Christmas chapters from the LITTLE HOUSE books in December is a wonderful tradition! They make great read-alouds.

Related posts previously here at LMM: Little House Music Lives On, Little House Books: No Illustrations More 'Relevant'?, and The Real Little Town on the Prairie.


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