Dan has been reading Peter The Chronicles of Narnia at bedtime over the past couple months but since that's their special nighttime gig, I've stuck to shorter, picture books until recently. Laura mentioned that she was reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to her four-year-old and that sounded like fun. While checking the W shelf of the library, I ran into Charlotte's Web and picked that up too. All of these have barely enough pictures to hold Peter's attention. Dan reads from a huge, hard-bound anthology with many pages per visible page, but one tiny picture can always be seen. The books I picked up have big type, but Peter has to hold out for a few pages before seeing the next illustration. We read through all of Charlotte's Web over the past week (I cried and choked out the last paragraph). We usually read for half an hour or so while Leo naps. If Peter starts climbing along the back of the couch or gets off it, I stop and he usually bounces back down. He almost always asks to read one more chapter, which I'll do so long as he's paying attention. Sometimes he works on Legos at the same time or starts paging through other books, but will come back with a new illustration. We read the first chapter of Little House in the Big Woods today and I was amused that the first thing they did was slaughter the hog. There are so many things to talk about -- we stopped to talk more about how they smoked the meat, where they lived, how it was like the cabin, playing in the attic full of food, and on and on. At dinner Peter told Dan that before they had dehydrators, they put meat in hollow logs. I interject questions about who characters are to make sure he catches things, especially since we're just starting. I told Peter a little about the book before we went to the library and he kept asking if I'd picked it up yet, which was a good sign for the kid who looks only for train books. Charlotte's Web was fun (and I keep getting the rat's song from the movie stuck in my head -- "a fair is a veritable smorgasbord-orgasbord-orgasbord...") but the Little House books can be connected to how we live and how our ancestors lived in all these ways. I think it'll get Peter more excited to help plant our garden. We went online to look at pictures of Pepin, WI and Lake Pepin and maps (he's really into maps) of how we'd get there. I wonder how Ma got everything done -- where exactly was Baby Carrie during all this -- and somehow doubt that after many months of playing with pumpkin furniture in the attic that they'd still describe it as fun and cozy, but that's okay.