Olivia I definitely think that you should read Little Women first. Then you can read the MDBC and understand all the references and not have any surprises spoiled if you haven't reached that part in Little Women yet.
Marta Morrison I do not think it is important to have read Little Women in order to enjoy this book. After reading the MDBC you may want to read Little Women, but you don’t have to have read it. I am an retired teacher and have never had the desire to read Little Women. After I see a movie I don’t ever want to read the book.
Emma Williams Read Little Women first. I know there's at least one major spoiler for Little Women in this book.
Brooke N. I see it being fun either way. You could read it ahead of time and know what the girls are talking about and speed through the book, or you could read it with them, however it would take longer to get through the book that way. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!