Jackanory

I love it when I find a bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder tucked in an odd corner. This one seems extra odd. From 1965 to 1996 the BBC produced a children’s TV series called Jackanory. (It’s from the BBC’s children’s department about that same time as Doctor Who, so even though I’ve never seen Jackanory I’m quite ready to believe it was amazingly cool.)

4 covers of British edition 2 Little House in the Big Woods and 2 Little House on the Prairie
British Editions of the Little House Books

I found this blog post talking about this show:

Out In The Dark

Jackanory was a daily weekday series where they read book across days. The host was Red Shiveley. Original producer Joy Whitby would have the set decorated to the style of the book. Special, original illustrations were provided by Mina Martinez who was frequently used by the BBC.  The music for this span of episodes was provided by Jack Fallon, a jazz violinist, and Rick Jones, a singer.

“Broadcast by BBC1 on Tuesday 25th October 1966, the two hundredth edition of Jackanory was nothing more significant or celebratory than “Out In The Dark,” the second of a five part adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 1932 autobiographical novel The Little House In The Big Woods.”

They don’t have a recording of any of the Laura episodes, but this blog post does a great job of explaining it what it was and you never know. They still occasionally find another episode of Doctor Who, maybe the Jackanory version of Little House in the Big Woods will turn up sometime.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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First Book was Little House in the Big Woods

Man Booker Prize

Back in 1969 a foundation was formed with the intention of helping to create the widest possible readership for good literature. The only criteria is that the wide spectrum of judges agree that it is the best written novel published in the United Kingdom. Although it had little impact when it started it is now very influential and many British book buyers rush to get its selection each year. Only recently did the foundation’s definitions open up so in the last couple of years Americans who have books published in the United Kingdom. Previously it was limited to books published in the UK by authors from the Common Wealth.
http://themanbookerprize.com/background

Marlon James

This year’s winner was American Marlon James for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. James was born in Jamaica which is the setting of his prize winning novel. Today he lives in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and teaches at Macalester College when not working on his next book.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/world/americas/marlon-james-jamaican-novelist-wins-man-booker-prize.html

Find more of his books here:
http://www.amazon.com/Marlon-James/e/B001JP2UK8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1446932324&sr=8-2-ent

First Book

Recently after an event held by the Hennepin County Library (Minnesota), James took a minute to talk about how he got interested in books and in support for libraries. As you will hear in the video, the first novel James remembers reading was Little House in the Big Woods and it made him hungry for more.

Thanks for passing the video on Connie Neumann and Sara Alt.

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.

Julie Harris Died

Julie Harris Record
Julie Harris Record

Julie Harris, the accomplished Broadway and Television star who recorded the original full length audio version of Little House in the Big Woods, died August 24, 2013. Her version of LHBW was released on records designed to be played with a record changer. That means that Record One doesn’t have side 1 and side 2. It has side 1 and side 8. So you could put a

Julie Harris Record 2
Julie Harris Record 2

stack of records on the changer and it would keep going playing one after another. Then you flip the pile over and play those. That makes it a little confusing when you are playing them without a changer, but it’s definitely worth it. Harris does a bang up job and I’m very sorry that when they did decide to release the series as audio books that they didn’t revive this version and that they didn’t have Harris do the rest. It’s my favorite audio recording of the books so far.  Look for your own set on Ebay.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/julie-harris-broadway-star-dies-87

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/julie-harris-broadway-star-dies-613932

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/arts/julie-harris-celebrated-actress-of-range-and-intensity-dies-at-87.html

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/aug/25/julie-harris?CMP=twt_gu

Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

What’s in a Name Trundlebed Tales

cropped-img_3532-1.jpgAccording to a list in the Laura Ingalls Wilder/ Rose Wilder Lane Papers at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, the following were all possibilities in contention for being the title of the book ultimately published as Little House in the Big Woods. I had always enjoyed thinking about this list of names and although I think they definitely chose the right title for the book, I was always partial the last option on the list.

Little Pioneer Girl

Long Ago Yesterday

Little Girl in the Big Woods

Long Ago in the Big Woods

Laura in the Big Woods

The Day Before Yesterday

Little Girl of Yesterday

Little Girl of the Wild West

Trundle-bed Tales

When it came time to name my speaking services, I definitely wanted to avoid any direct connection with “Little House” which is a legally complicated trademark.  Several other options I might have considered were already in use. That’s when I remembered the last possible title on this list. I had always thought it had quite a ring and ultimately I decided to use that as my brand for my website, blog, YouTube channel, Twitter, and radio show. I should point out that Trundlebed should really be Trundle-bed or Trundle Bed, but I deliberately made it one word, first so people wouldn’t have to enter or remember punctuation when they searched for me and second I like the strong outline of the words with 2 capital Ts. I paralleled the 2 Ts in the name for the subseries of travel episodes on my radio show, Travel Times. So now you know just what’s in a name.

UPDATED June 16 2018: I added my current signature block and a photo.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Churning Garth Williams

This last read through of Farmer Boy has convinced that Garth Williams has led me astray. I always liked the barrel churn Williams pictured in Chapter 17 “Summer-Time” (page 198 in the yellow back paperbacks). I always wondered why Almanzo didn’t get on and ride it like a rocking horse. I always wanted to see one like it. I haven’t yet, but I suppose there was one Williams based his drawing on as I can recognize most of the equipment in the drawing behind Almanzo.

I have seen lots of barrel churns. They just looked nothing like the rocking horse model. Well, this time I read through a line jumped out at me, “Almanzo turned the handle, and the churn rocked.” There is nothing to turn on the one in Garth Williams drawing, but a normal barrel churn turns the barrel by turning the handle. Loaded with cream it’s constantly off balance and does rock, though not on rockers.

Dashe and Barrel Churns
Dasher and Barrel Churns

I’m including a photo of a normal barrel churn which I’m now 95 percent sure that it is like the one Mother Wilder used. The churn on the left is a dasher churn, like the Ingalls Family used in Little House in the Big Woods. The metal ones on the far side are new to me, but I would guess they might be from a commercial dairy to go with the other photos in the chapter.

UPDATED March 24 2018: I added my current signature block.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Although, it shares a name with Laura’s book, this state park actually was named as the only remnant of Big Woods in its area. The Big Woods in this area covered about 5,000 acres when permenant settlers arrived in 1854. It features 1,280 acres of land and was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1945.  It remains today a good example of the Big Woods which once covered much of the northern states.  It has sugar maples, basswood, elms, green ash, and Ironwood trees. There are also 50 varities of wildflowers and many varities of ferns and mushrooms.

Although it doesn’t take its name from Laura’s title, it does come from the same source and I think the park will be well worth a visit.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/nerstrand_big_woods/index.html

UPDATED March 9 2018: I added my current signature block.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.