little girl in England, the big brothers hunted up the lists from the dictionary, atlas, almanac, and Bible, and reviewed them. But when the autumn days had been stitched and discussed away and winter had come in, the family was still undecided. What pleased one big brother did not please another; and if two agreed, the third opposed them. The little girl's mother was even harder to suit than they.
The afternoon of the first birthday anniversary two important things happened: the baptismal robe was finished and the christening controversy took a new turn. The big brothers, arguing hotly, urged that if a name could be found for every new calf and colt on the place, the only baby in the house ought to have one. Now, the little girl's mother always named the animals, so, when she heard their reproof, she promptly declared that she would christen the little girl at once--and after an English queen.
The big brothers were astounded, recalling how their American father had objected to their having been
This story of a young girl growing up among settlers in the Dakotas is apparently a semi-autobiographical novel. However, the author decided, for some curious reason, never to refer to her protagonist, or anyone (except a couple of Indians and some of the family pets), by name, but rather by labels — "the little girl," "the biggest brother," "the Swede boy," etc. That dulls the story, giving it a generic quality.
One can imagine "Little House on the Prairie" author Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose childhood encompassed the same period, reading it and thinking, "I can do better than this!" As she did.