Farmer Boy

November 5, 2014

Well happy, happy, happy day! We're reading 'Farmer Boy', by Laura Ingalls Wilder. You all probably know by now that I have pretty strong feelings about the 'Little House' books. I went on and on at great length about my undying love for the series HERE, and HERE, and HERE ~ and hey, also HERE!

We've actually read only the first of the 'Little House on the Prairie' books - Julia was a bit young for it when we read 'Little House in the Big Woods', I may have jumped the gun a bit on that one - she enjoyed the concept of the story but wasn't clamoring to move on, so I dropped the whole Little House issue for about a year. And I thought we'd delve back in by spending this November with the Mother of All Great Food Books, and jump into 'Farmer Boy', which can be read as a stand-alone story. For those of you who haven't read the series (seriously, I don't want to know if you haven't), 'Farmer Boy' is the childhood story of Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband, Almanzo Wilder.


Did you know that Laura wrote the book's amazingly descriptive and over-the-top food scenes quite purposefully? She basically did it as a kind of wish fulfillment, in response to the severe food deprivation she and her own family often went through, especially during The Long Winter. Almanzo did grow up as the son to a very successful and wealthy farmer, and certainly had all he probably needed to eat, and more. But I'm still amazed every time I read the book at how much food was put away. It just seems unreal.



For instance, a typical breakfast consisted of oatmeal (with cream and maple sugar), then buckwheat pancakes, and then sausages with gravy. Also toast and jams, jellies, AND preserves. And doughnuts. AND THEN SOME APPLE PIE.

Just ponder on that.


Julia appears to be loving the story so far. Or rather, she's just kind of amazed at it all. She's already expressed much shock and awe over the fact that the children were not allowed to speak at the dinner table while the adults were talking. She can't believe that the kids went to school in a one room school house with all the grades doing lessons at once. She's flummoxed by the amount of chores going on. And she was really shocked by the 40 BELOW ZERO TEMPS. She was also quite fascinated by what happens to those bad boys who try and beat up the teacher.

(amiright??? BEST TAKEDOWN OF BULLIES EVER.)

You will never, ever forget the descriptions of the food in this book. You never forget the sugar scene. Remember the sugar scene? Remember Almanzo rubbing his moccasins every night with tallow? Remember his cows?

 I'm here to tell you, 'Farmer Boy' is one of the greatest stories ever in children's literature.

And on that note, I'm off to make an apple pie for my family to eat....FOR BREAKFAST.


(this post contains affiliate links)




17 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, yes, yes yes! And your beautiful photographs perfectly capture the essence of the book. I was amazed, when I first read the Little House series to my son when he was six, how great his attention span was amidst all the very loooooooong descriptive passages. It just goes to show you that kids don't only respond to the fast-paced, plot-driven middle grade series that are so popular today. There is still a place for lyrical, high quality, character-driven writing! Love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!! I TOTALLY agree with you about the books. I just can't go there with kids aged 7 or 8 reading books better suited for 11 yr olds.

      Delete
  2. I've read most of the Little House books more than once, except Farmer. As a girl, I wasn't interested in it because it was Almanzo's story, not Laura's, so I skipped it. I've read some of it now, as part of the early chapter book and picture book series, and I was amazed by how joyfully entertaining those bits were, so we do plan on fixing this problem soon. The girls are interested, too. Just have to finish a few things first...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hurray! Add it to the queue! :)

      Delete
    2. And there's ALWAYS a queue, yes? First we have to read THIS book and then we can read THAT book......

      Delete
  3. Egg nog to drink as a mid morning snack in the fields! Imagine how many calories were being burned by all those chores and cold!

    LOVE me some LIW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I know. Imagine walking a mile and a half to school every day in sub freezing weather. No wonder they ate the way they did!

      Delete
  4. What a sweet review of Farmer Boy. That book always makes me hungry ;) I love the sweet family scenes and yes all that glorious, glorious food! Its what we dream of as 'farmer life' for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heather! I know you're one who really appreciates all of the treasures in this story....

      Delete
  5. I am reading the book right now with my boy and you review is fantastic! Your photos are wonderful! And I have the book in my hands LOL Such is the power of a good photographer! My son has been impressed by the school event and also by the strict discipline! He can't stay quiet for more than 5 minutes so you can imagine how big his eyes became when he read that children were not allowed to talk at the dining table!!! LOL And yes the food! The awesome home-made food that makes me hungry no matter what time of day when I read it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you liked the pictures! I had to take them at night, which I initially wasn't too pleased about, but then I realized it gave the right 'feel' to the book :)

      Delete
  6. Yay, we read Farmer Boy this summer! Oh Almanzo and your consumption of nearly a whole barrel of sugar while your parents are away, I love you so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's my favorite part, so so great!!

      Delete
  7. This book always makes me starving! :P LOL! :) You captured it in such a lovely way! I love your hardcover version, too. Makes me greedy for one! My 7 yo and I are reading Little House and the Big Woods right now. Slowly going to make our way through the series together. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh thank you so much!!! Have fun with Little House in the Big Woods! I adore that one soooooo much. Gah, I love them all! But I love the Christmas scenes in 'Big Woods' :)

      Delete
  8. I read this series every couple of years-especially if I am feeling a bit down-such a comfort read! I love the descriptions of food in the books, but Farmer Boy takes the cake! Pun intended :)

    One of my great sorrows is my daughter never wanted to read these books, or have them read to her-not interested at all. How many times I tried! I still live in hope that as an adult she picks them up sometime, and discovers the joy of LIW!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel your pain - my kiddo didn't care too 2 hoots about Stuart Little -- I felt wounded in MY SOUL.

      Delete

Comments TOTALLY make my day! Let's keep everything friendly and polite and 'use our tea party manners :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...