You guys have inspired me to reread the series again. I'm in the middle of Big Woods and...this is not good for my diet.
From memory, my favorite book is On the Banks of Plum Creek. I remember being white-knuckled when Laura fell into the creek, and disappointed when they moved from the dugout to the house. The dugout was cool. The roof had grass growing on it, and you could play on it. The house was just an ordinary house.
I also remember really wanting a penny in my Christmas stocking, just like Laura got. I never got one, but I thought that would be the most awesome thing ever. I was another one of those people who wanted to live back then. Everything seemed so much better. Ma's butter must be better then the store-bought butter I got. People were, for the most part, friendly. It would have been great living back then, I decided. Well, until I read the Long Winter. And that was because of the boredom.
The book wasn't boring. Far from it. But the part where Laura sits in front of a fire and braids hay all day long, over and over again, struck a cord with me. I was too used to the comforts of modern life. I couldn't live back then.
Does anybody else like Garth Williams' illustrations as much as the actual text? When I think about my favorite scenes, his pictures are just as important as Laura's texts? Laura cutting her hair, Laura playing blind-man's bluff, Almanzo sitting on a haystack, Laura rocking the school bench, young Nellie pulling Laura's hair, Mary dressed up in her going-away-to-college outfit. And so on.