Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2017

Whether you are looking for the perfect present for the Laura Ingalls Wilder fan in your life or just what you want to know what to put on your Christmas want list, check out these suggestions.

This is the seventh year I’ve put together a shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. Read that first and use this post to look for new items, other ideas, and a list of which Laura homesites are offering Christmas mail order and the cut off dates for shipping by Christmas this year. Trundlebed Tales encourages you to do at least a little Christmas shopping from the Laura homesites because they are all local museums, highly dependent on admissions and gift shop revenue to stay open and preserve the homesites for Laura fans, so do your part.

If your favorite Laura fan is planning a trip to Walnut Grove this year, consider buying them pageant tickets. The tickets are available for 2018 already and the earlier you buy tickets the better seats you can get. They mail them so you can get the tickets to go under the tree. Buy them either online or by phone if you want their advice for which seat. The phone goes into a business so you can always find someone there during business hours. (Note: I don’t advise pre-buying for the other pageants because differences in how their systems work.)

De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt 3
De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt

Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , and 2016 are still available so take a look at previous shopping posts for more ideas.

And don’t forget you can also get your Laura fan gift memberships to the museums or a donation in your Laura fan’s name!

What’s Not Available

I’m going to take a minute first and tell you some things that you aren’t able to get because there was expectation you would be able to get them. For the past 3 years the homesites have worked together to create a calendar with photos from all the sites. Unfortunately when I checked with the De Smet Memorial Society who makes them up, they’ve given up on doing one for 2018, but look for the 2019 one sometime this spring.

Also, this fall I was shocked when I checked with all the homesites and discovered in the last year we’ve gone from 3 versions of the china shepherdess replicas available to 0. Hopefully, at least 1 version will be available sometime next year (a couple of the homesites have a new version in the works), but for now your only choice is keeping an eye out for one second hand.

150th Birthday Items

150th Magnet – Photo Courtesy of Mansfield

With this being the 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth, check out some of the unique things offered for the anniversary. There are special limited edition t-shirts from both De Smet and Walnut Grove. (Walnut Grove had a double reason to celebrate with the 40th anniversary of their pageant.) De Smet also came out with an updated and expanded 60th anniversary edition of The Ingalls Family of De Smet. There is a special china ornament from De Smet featuring a bust of an older Laura wearing her red velvet dress. Mansfield has created a special limited edition magnet from Mansfield with a middle-aged Laura’s image and a 150th anniversary slogan.

40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt
40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt

HarperCollins

HarperCollins released a new edition of the first 3 books in the series. This edition is hardback, features matching covers, no illustrations, and an introductory essay by a famous person; Laura Bush, Little House in the Big Woods; Ree Drummond, Farmer Boy; and Patricia MacLachlan, Little House on the Prairie. I’m saving them to buy at one of my next homesite visits so I haven’t seen them myself, but the reviewer at Horn Book Magazine is pretty scathing about them urging people to buy the standard Garth Williams illustrated version instead.

Happily in honor of Laura’s birthday, HarperCollins released the audiobooks, as recorded by Cherry Jones, as digital downloads for the first time. Slowly throughout the year they’ve been re-releasing the simplified chapter books, such as The Adventures of Laura and Jack or the most appropriate Christmas Stories, with brand new covers. Six of the simplified picturebooks, illustrated by Renee Graef, are newly collected and published as one volume. It’s called a Little House Picture Book Treasury. Finally, they also put out The Little House Book of Wisdom, a collection of quotes from the series.

Quilt Discovery – Doves in the Window

One of the things I’m most excited about is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Wedding Quilt by Linda Halpin. Halpin has braved the untamed jungle that is quilt pattern names and makes a strong case that this is the pattern Laura calls “Doves in the Window” thought to be the one Laura made for her Wedding Quilt. It includes instructions for making the quilt pattern pictured here. Linda Halpin is also the author of Quilting with Laura: Patterns Inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie Series. Check out her interviews on the Trundlebed Tales podcasts about Doves in the Window and on quilts in the 19th century in general. You can get the pattern directly from her website, from Burr Oak (who has the original square that kicked off her search), and possibly from other homesites – ask.

While we are talking about crafts The Little House Coloring Book, a publication that takes into account the surge in adult coloring has been a big hit. It’s based on Garth Williams illustrations at any of the giftshops. There is also a great coloring book based on illustrations by Cheryl Harness is available at most homesites. See some sample pages.

South Dakota Historical Society Press

You’ll remember that when the SDHSP released Pioneer Girl in November 2014 a frenzy broke out as underestimated demand meant that even pre-published purchased copies from Amazon were months late and it found a long term spot on the bestseller list. With such intense interest, it’s no wonder that they’re planning on following up with a three volume set of scholarship about Pioneer Girl. The first volume was released this last April, Pioneer Girl Perspectives. It is be available from either the South Dakota State Historical Society or any of the homesites.

In honor of Laura’s 150th birthday and the release of Pioneer Girl Perspectives the South Dakota Historical Society Press  held a conference in April. If you couldn’t go they have released a set of DVDs of the conference. I’m grateful that they did so we have a record of the sessions and I think that any serious scholar or anyone who wanted to go to the conference and didn’t get to will want a copy. However, be forewarned that the sound quality is bad. Basically they set up a camera and let it roll using the ambient sound in the room.

Some Homesite Highlights

Pepin didn’t report anything new, but my favorite thing is a green and white throw. It has images from the books including the Pepin replica cabin, Pa’s fiddle, and a bonnet. I won mine in the Laura Days essay contest, but you can buy and love one.

Little House on the Prairie Ornament – Photo courtesy of Little House on the Prairie Museum

If you haven’t checked out the Little House on the Prairie Museum online store yet, poke around. They have a wide variety of possible presents including tote bags, candles, and coffee. I haven’t gotten one yet, but they have a variety of styles of shirts with their logo including tanks which are hard to find in Laura shirts. The most Kansas thing is a poster that I NEED a copy of called “The Yellow Brick Road” with a covered wagon following a path of yellow flowers across the prairie. Besides Laura, Kansas also claims a connection with Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum (“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”) hence the yellow “brick” road. They have a set of china Christmas tree ornaments each with a colorized image from the Helen Sewell books, one per book.

I’ve heard Walnut Grove called the homesite with the best gift shop and it is a very nice facility with a bunch of options. Although the grounds close for the season, the gift shop/visitor center is open all year. They have more things available than shown on their website so if you are looking for something in particular or want something you don’t see on the website, call them and talk. Aprons, bonnets, and dresses continue to be popular and they have a great selection. They also have a lot of the Queen’s Treasures collection of dolls and accessories. To have a memory of Walnut Grove on your tree check out their wood ornament.

Besides the quilt pattern I mentioned above, Burr Oak has Laura t-shirts featuring the hotel in bright primary colors to make a splash in your Laura shirt. They are the place to get The Iowa Story: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life in Burr Oak, Iowa by William T. Anderson. They also keep a stock of Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant which knowing Rylant’s other work should be much, much better than it is and takes a stab at fictionalizing the time missing out of the series when they lived in Burr Oak. (Spoiler: Pa suddenly starts calling Mary Pumpkin Pie — yep.)

The Memorial Society in De Smet has several new items this year. Besides the new edition of The Ingalls Family of De Smet and the t-shirt, I mentioned above, they have an exclusive cookie cutter shaped like the Surveyor’s House. In addition to the new china ornament with the older Laura in red velvet (which I just HAD to buy back in July), they have a complete set of the ornaments each one featuring a colorized Garth Williams’s illustrations from each book in the series. The older Laura one isn’t showing on their website, but give them a call.

Covered Wagon Ornament
Ornament Photo courtesy of The Ingalls Homestead

The Ingalls Homestead, who developed the idea of wood crates to create a box set for the hardcover books, also has a wide range of products and some great news about shipping. They have free shipping for all orders over $25 this year through December 13. They also have rolled out digital gift cards for the first time. Use them online or over the phone for onsite purchases. Associate the Homestead with the covered wagon rides? They have a beautiful ornament of a covered wagon. (Yep, I got one of these on this last trip too.) Remember how excited Laura was about her Santa Christmas presents she got from Mr. Edwards? At the Homestead you can order tin cups with two sticks of peppermint, the heart shaped cakes and even a penny! A unique gift is squares of Ingalls Homestead homemade soap. They also have a wide selection non-Laura books of prairie/pioneer related subjects.

Harvey Dunn, nephew by marriage of Grace Ingalls and internationally known artist and illustrator, is best known for his connection with Manchester, the next town west of De Smet. The South Dakota Art Museum houses the largest collection of Dunn’s work. (It’s well worth your effort to stop in Brookings on your way to or from De Smet.) They have just released a reprint of Where Your Heart Is: The Story of Harvey Dunn, Artist. This current edition is available exclusively from the South Dakota Art Museum store.

Spring Valley is a smaller site, but they work on having unique things in their giftshop. One area they have a big selection in is the American Girl aka 18 inch size doll clothes. They are locally made and not mass produced. Colors may vary.

Doll Clothes from Spring Valley

Besides the 150th magnet, Mansfield has several other cool magnets look at all of them. They have a couple of unique things that feature the Rocky Ridge farmhouse including a snow globe and a frame. They have also have boxed sets of the hardbacks in wooden boxes.

In Malone/Burke, New York, they’ve also redone their website. Check out the Mason Jar style mug with Almanzo’s name, their selection of mugs, and cachet hand painted envelopes. If your Laura fan doesn’t yet have the DVD documentary Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura. It was produced by Dean Butler (Almanzo on the TV show) and is either a great keepsake or a tour if you haven’t been to the farmstead. They also have a lovely print called “Coming Home” with the Wilder farmhouse and a sleigh. I have a copy.

 

I recommend contacting the sites by e-mail or online store instead of by phone, except where noted. Even places that have been easiest to contact by phone in the past I’ve had trouble calling, but most responded quickly by e-mail.

Independence KS

Little House on the Prairie Museum
Online Store

Last Day for Priority Mail – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Walnut Grove MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-800-528-7280
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 18, 2017

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 18, 2017

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594

Last Day for Priority – December 20, 2017

Loftus Store Online
Phone: 605-854-3773 Call to order

Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date use your own judgment

Mansfield MO

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-877-924-7126 (Toll free)
Last Day for Priority – December 19, 2017

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com

Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

Spring Valley MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (Store not online)
wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com
Recommends using e-mail to order for Christmas, but you may want to include your phone number in the e-mail so they can get back to you with questions quickly.
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

The best way for people to shop during the winter is through the website gift shop and then pay through Paypal. You can email the museum with questions. They are no longer accepting checks for orders because of some bad check incidents.

Pepin WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Best to order online, but can also reach by phone 715-513-6383, or by sending a letter. Neither museum nor gift shop is open during the winter.

Last Day for Priority – December 18, 2017

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Mentions October 2017

Sarah at Reference Desk
Sarah at Reference Desk

This month I created both of this month’s mentions. The first one is the video I made as part of my campaign for Vice President Elect of the Iowa Library Association. I know you can’t vote, but I did a nice job on the video if I do say so myself (hard time limit of 3 minutes, no edits or effects).

The second is a blog post I did for the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Anne of Green Gables Readalong. Check out all of the readalong chapters, they are doing a chapter a week through June. (The date on the blog post is when it was published unfortunately the date only shows if you click on blog and bring up the list of posts.)

Uthoff, Sarah. “Sarah Uthoff – VP/Pres-Elect.” YouTube, uploaded by Iowa Library

Association. 28 Sept. 2017, youtu.be/y271IvMjFR8

Uthoff, Sarah. “Anne of Green Gables Read-a-long: Chapter VII: Anne Says Her

Prayers.” L. M. Montgomery Institute. 31 October 2017.

https://www.lmmontgomery.ca/anne-green-gables-read-long-chapter-vii-anne-says-her-prayers Accessed 7 November 2017.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Mentions March 2017

In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City
In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City

This month’s mentions of me and Trundlebed Tales that appeared in the news during March 2017. The first article talks about doing my In the Kitchen With Laura program in Marshalltown, Iowa and the second is advertising my program in Clarksville, Iowa on April 1st, 2017. The final article is based on some suggestions I made to a follow up for a story about Field of Dreams with some additional book suggestions.

Jordan-Heintz, Sarah. “Cooking on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder Topic of Presentation.” Times-Republican [Marshalltown, Iowa], 24 Mar. 2017, http://www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2017/03/cooking-on-the-prairie Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder Celebration Planned.” The Courier [Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa], 26 Mar. 2017, http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/laura-ingalls-wilder-celebration-planned/article_a0db2b0a-2959-52f5-b847-31b043296af7.html Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Field of Dreams.” Monday Morning Eye-Opener [State Library of Iowa]. 27 March 2017, p. 3.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Cassandra Cooper Writes Another Book

I want to thank Pauly Tee who posted this The Friend Zone interview of Melissa Francis, anchor of MONEY with Melissa Francis and Markets Now on the Fox Business Network. Francis also played Cassandra Cooper on Little House on the Prairie (NBC TV show) for two seasons. She later attended Harvard before moving into business news.

Cassandra is a Character

Cassandra Cooper was one of two orphan siblings that the characters Charles and Caroline Ingalls adopt on the television show. Landon pushed the characters of Laura and Mary to become grown married women early and that took out storyline options for the Ingalls as a nuclear family. They had earlier successfully brought in Albert when they decided they needed a boy. For some reason, neither Carrie nor Grace were effectively used as older children so to keep feeding the Ingalls nucelar family storylines they needed more children. The writers invented a kind of horrible covered wagon crash and the Ingalls adopted the surviving children. Cassandra’s brother Jason Cooper was played by Jason Bateman who has gone on to have a stellar career as an actor. When Michael Landon decided he wanted to do more work on the production side of things as he was expanding shows, he moved the Charles and Caroline Ingalls family out of Walnut Grove and they took Carrie, Grace, Albert, James, and Cassandra with them and for the most part off the show. That allowed him to not be on camera as much himself. The Cooper siblings are mostly remembered for the episode where Charles goes a little nuts and builds a shrine to try to cure James which eventually works.

It’s in the Books

Back in 2012, Francis wrote a memoir of her time on the show called Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter. 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

During April 2017, her new book is coming out. Francis: “A lot of the great values I learned on ‘the prairie’ really applied to the rest of your life….like self-reliance, independence, and hard work.” According to Francis, Landon hired hard workers, but also taught them the same professional values you saw on the show. Her new book is a self-help book based on those ‘prairie’ principles where she laughs at herself, check out Lessons from the Prairie. 

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Travel Times Part 2 Disney Books

Before you check out my Disney Books podcast, check out what my friend Disney lover Richard Simms recommends for Travel Times podcast listeners and the first podcast of looking ahead (there is some strange audio at the beginning on this one, but I think it’s still OK) to my Disney trip.

Note that this was recorded well before I did the post so I put the current editions of these books in the descriptions below.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2015/10/10/travel-times-disney-world-part-2-books

Walt Disney World
WDW 2017

Disney in December, BABY!

Also my opinion, I read these through except things I knew for sure like cruises or Universal

Website Subscriptions

The main trust of today’s podcast is books, but there are lots of websites. While there are a lot of free websites out there others require subscriptions for access or full access. I would recommend subscribing to all of these.

Touring Plans – It gives you information about rides, menus, and optimized touring plans that you can readjust “optimize” at any time as life might interfer with your premade plans. Purchasing the Touring Plans book listed before gives you a discount on the website subscription.

Kenny the Pirate – Just the best information on character appearances that is always up to date.

UPDATE  WDW  Prep School still has its amazing podcast and a free website, but since I recorded this I also have a subscription section. I haven’t subscribed yet, but since everything else they do is top notch and my favorite, I’m sure this will be too.

Books

Birnhaum Guides. Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide. Disney Editions, 2016. ISBN 1484737776

Birnbaum’s the Official guide **** MUST BUY ****

Coupons mostly if staying off grounds or have a lot of out of park time

It gives the party line, things Disney expect you to know about

Compact for easier carrying than others

Meal section most useful especially character meal chart

Also special tours section

You want most current, comes out towards end of September so frozen in August of previous year (so this year’s 2017 book was frozen in August 2016). For trips after September hold out for the next year’s or get both.

Marx, Jennifer, Dave Marx, and Alexander Marx. PassPorter’s Walt Disney World: The Unique Travel Guide, Planner, Organizer, Journal, and Keepsake. 19th ed. Ann Arbor, Michigan: PassPorter Travel Press, 2016. ISBN 158771163X ****MUST BUY****

One of two I would consider a must by, skip the section about accommodations if you’ve made yours already and dive into the stuff about the parks. Although it doesn’t start quite as basic as I’d like to see it for someone who knows nothing about the parks, it gives a lot more basic information than any of the other guide books I read. It has just beautiful maps by far the clearest and most useful I’ve seen in any book. The name labels are on the buildings so you don’t have to flip between a numbered list and the map to figure out what is what.I also liked the routes and walk times that were included to give you a good idea for routes. The descriptions were fairly straight forward and what opinion there was was given in one voice so you could decide if you agreed with it or not. Another nifty feature is that they highlight changes made from the previous edition so you can see what’s changed right away.

Downsides include its format (a plastic spiral that constantly was twisting out, an especially poor choice for a book they encouraged you to carry around and to rearrange and take pages out of it – a binder format would have been a far better choice), the fact that it really didn’t have many charts and what charts they did have were very detailed so there wasn’t much in the way of quick summaries, and that towards the end of the book they were kind of heavy on advising buying other titles from them both in paper and as e-books. Also be aware that the last quarter of the book is taken up by hard cardboard pockets (one for each day of your trip) that they encourage you to use while touring.

Be aware the new edition comes out in December so late in the year information may be out of date towards the end of the calendar year. I caught several things that I knew weren’t true anymore just from my other research.

Sehlinger, Bob and Len Testa. The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2017. Birmingham, AL: Keen Communications, 2015. ISBN 1628090669

My friend Kelly really loves this resource and it has a lot of information, but it’s not one of my favorites. Personally when I read a how to book from an expert I want their opinion and the constant second guessing and quotes of opposite opinions from various readers get on my nerves. But if you want a well rounded set of opinions on absolutely everything, this is the book for you.

One of the positive things is that it rates attractions with advice on different age levels. They give advice and tips how to do it. There are lots of useful single color maps of things like resorts and highway approaches in addition to main park maps and charts and still more that are black and blue. At 848 pages it’s by far the largest and most comprehensive of the books I got. However, there are large sections on Disney Cruises and Universal Parks which explains some of the extra length.

***** I’d say this is a maybe buy. If you want lots of details and a lot of extra opinions, plus detail maps, lists and suggestions for various ages, you’ll want to buy the book. If you want a single voice that you can figure out if you agree with or not, this probably isn’t the book for you. In addition this same group of people put out a subscription website called Touring Plans. The website was a lot more useful to me than the book. If you can only do the book OR the website, do the website in my opinion.

Birnhaum Guides. Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World For Kids: The Official Guide. Disney Editions, 2016. ISBN 1484737784

*****Buy if have kids the age to read on their own (at least Magic Treehouse series level)

Note that it’s NOT WITH kids, FOR kids. They expect kids to be the ones reading this one.

Colorful, easy to read

Written in narrative format

Rating system scary, dark,or loud

Activities to do

Includes kids in planning

Must say was disappointed in how much our kids like it but I think others would

Touring plans book — Optional

First chapter apologizing for format

Information Disney wouldn’t tell you

System of opinions based on age

Maps not overly clear

Wilk, Roger. Discover the Magic: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Walt Disney World. 2nd ed. n.p.: n.p., 2015. ISBN 9781505687491 **** Don’t Buy ****

I admit I was on a bit of a Disney book buying binge and I bought this strictly based on its cover. Seriously this is the second most pick me up and buy me cover that I’ve ever seen. If he didn’t design it himself, I want to hire whoever did it for any book I write. Sadly the cover is the best part of the book. The inside clearly says self-published. There are good self-published books, but most of them are crying out for want of an editor and this is no exception.

Apparently Wilk defines insider as someone who has been to Disney on several trips since 2008 as a normal tourist and in those last seven years apparently spent a lot of time in the parks. However, he didn’t learn a lot because you could get absolutely everything else in this book from other guide books. The only exception are his personal opinions which certainly aren’t worth buying the book for. The opening of the book starts with him getting kind of irate at the fact that people posted negative comments on Amazon (which I totally should have read) and seemed especially focused on the fact that people complained that his photos weren’t in color. He seemed to think people didn’t understand that color photos cost more in a book. Frankly to me the photos even in black and white were one of the few pluses in the book because I do have to give him credit that he illustrated more things he was talking about with photos than the other Disney books I’ve read. However, they were nothing special and you could find just as good or better images doing a quick image search.

Note that the edition I got was the second. It seems that according to the interior text it was greatly expanded from the 1st edition which must have just been a pamphlet or something. Also, Wilk has the nerve to have published 3 more books about Disney when he didn’t really have enough to say to fill this one.

*****If it is the only Disney book available to you, it covers the bare essentials of information well enough, but a strong do NOT buy.

Final – Disappointment have to still have your physical Disney credit card to get discount, kids glad to go

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Library Ghost

ICPL Carnegie
ICPL Carnegie

Old buildings that creak and crack,
Moving shadows to stop you in your track,
Chairs pulled out and computers clack.

Happy Halloween!

Libraries have their share of ghosts,
“Living” near our computer hosts,
Why not? It’s where everyone loves the most.

Happy Halloween!

Ghosts in Libraries

There are plenty of stories about ghosts in libraries, after all libraries are often in older buildings, from bookshelves to children’s room decorations there are plenty of things that make strange shadows, and sometimes they have programmed or motion detector lights that are supposed to go on and off by themselves. They’re not as creepy as Silence in the Library, but it’s enough to make you nervous if you’re by yourself and who knows? That bump in the night you’re imagining may not be all in your mind at all….

Sarah on library staircaseLocal Ghosts

A favorite local ghost story happened when the Cedar Rapids Public Library was still in its old Carnegie building. A little old woman came in like clock work to check out books. One morning a staff member saw her come in and commented on her new dress. She just smiled and went on. Later the staff member heard she died and that her son had bought her a new dress to be buried in. Believe it or not.

The Champion Library Ghost

Of course the library that makes the most of its ghost is the haunted Willard Public Library in Evansdale, Indiana. Their lady in grey has  been caught in several photos since first being seen in 1937. They give special Lady in Grey tours and she is given her own section on their website. They put up a webcam in 1999 to look for her that proved so popular it crashed the entire town’s e-mail. They since added more cameras. See for yourself their best of captures and the live feeds for you to check yourself.

A runner up would be the Sweetwater County Library in Green River, Wyoming that have had ghostly occurrences there since the library opened up in 1980. Since 2006 they’ve hosted ghost walks where patrons and those interested can use real ghost hunting equipment like ghost boxes, dowsing rods, and KII meters to hunt the library ghosts for themselves. However, there is nothing about it on their website. I guess the ghost doesn’t like publicity.

And Look Here

Check out a write up of more haunted libraries from the American Library Association.

And ooooOOOOOOooooooo from the U.S. Census Bureau

NOTE: The photos are just some library photos I happened to have. Their inclusion is NOT ghost related. 🙂

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Quote: Simple Pictures Are Best by Nancy Willard

Willard, Nancy. Simple Pictures Are Best. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.

This is picture book comes from the era of my childhood although I don’t think I ever read it until I was an adult. It’s the story of a couple who build a life together and when a big wedding anniversary rolls around they decided to have a photographer come and take their photo. The photographer and his young assistant James come to the farm to take a picture with a large box camera. They start off with a simple photo in front of the house, but the photographer asks a series of questions about what they want. His questions are always this or that and his assistant James convinces them to do both. It gets crazier and crazier until you just have to see the actual photo he took.

After every time they add something the photographer would say “Simple pictures are best.” That is one of my best pieces of advice I’ve gotten from a picture book. It’s Occam’s Razor for kids.

When I’m trying to figure out how to do something, I always tell myself “Simple pictures are best” and look for the simplest way to do it. You might have heard me mutter this to myself. I say it a lot. So now you know what I’m talking about.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.