I picked up The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew as I was looking for the next book to read aloud to my class. I think it would be a little difficult for 1st and 2nd graders to grasp because it is told with many terms that are outdated. But I am having fun reading it to myself!
This little passage inspired me with its description of Mrs. Pepper:
But she had met life too bravely to be beaten down now. So with a stout heart and a cheery face, she had worked away day after day...and she had seen with pride that couldn't be concealed her noisy, happy brood growing up around her and filling her heart with comfort, and making the little brown house fairly ring with jollility and fun.