Our next featured book in December dips back into my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection. In 1997, HarperCollins came out with the second volume of A Little House Christmas.
While the first volume concentrated on Christmas time in Wisconsin, Kansas, and along Plum Creek, Volume II starts off by moving east to Malone, New York, where a young Almanzo Wilder is growing up on his father's farm. Farmer Boy, is the only book that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her husband's childhood, and it recently led to a new documentary by Dean Butler and Legacy Documentaries. Dean played Almanzo Wilder on the 1970's television show, Little House on the Prairie. For more information about this documentary, please visit my blog Laura's Little Houses or the website for the Wilder Homestead.
Also included in A Little House Christmas Volume II are the Christmas stories from By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, and These Happy Golden Years. The Long Winter has always been my favorite of the Little House books and in this one we get to see Almanzo and Cap Garland portrayed as hereos when they travel sixty miles to find seed wheat so that the town can survive until the trains begin running again in spring.
Once again, Garth Williams's illustrations have been colorized to bring the Little House stories to life in a wonderful way. Both covers for these books are beautiful--not that one would expect less from Garth Williams--but I love the picture of Ma bending down to put the little blue coat with the swan's-down collar and hood on Grace that comes from Laura's telling of Christmas Day and the Boasts' visit in By the Shores of Silver Lake.
A Little House Christmas Volume II will be treasured by any young girl who receives it...and even big girls like me who still love the timeless Little House books.