My kids confided to me that they believed that he was real, and I didn't dare contradict them.
We read a chapter or two every night (unless I was too tired, then too bad), and they were hooked.
This has honed their little attention spans for a set of books I have been wanting to read to them for awhile - the "Little House on the Prairie" series. If you only remember the TV show, try to forget.
Laura Ingalls was a real little girl, and you can read all about her life, and how she lived, with lovely simple drawings for the imagination. (She lived when people were settling in the West, born in 1867.) We have started reading the first one, "Little House in the Big Woods". It's written for the child's mind - for how they need to hear it to imagine it perfectly.
Everything is described - how they smoke meat in a hollow log turned on one end, with a little roof on the top, and how after they prepare the pig's meat to last them over the winter, they blow up the pig's bladder for the girls to play with (little Laura, 5 or so, has a bigger sister Mary). Lukie really wants to try churning butter in the ceramic jug they used to use with the stick (dash), with a lid with a hole in it. I would like to try to find an antique one and try it! (Think I'll pass on trying the pig's bladder idea, though!)
How to churn butter. Mary having a turn while Mother rests. The little girls helped with the work to the best of their ability.