Little House in the Big Woods

I expect this to be the last post of 2016 so if I don’t get back here, have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! And keep reading!


Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Originally published in 1932. 256 pages.

This book was our most recent bedtime read loud and our children enjoyed it immensely. They excitedly looked forward each night to what would happen next in the lives of Laura, Mary, Pa, and the rest of the Ingalls family.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around the reading Laura Ingalls Wilder but I’m very glad that I finally did, and that I get to share it with my children. Children who, incidentally view the life and times of Laura and her family through an extremely idyllic lens. While they find the idea of life in the big woods highly desirable, I could not get past the though of woods and mountain lions right outside our door.

The detail with which Laura Ingalls wilder described all that was involved in making maple syrup, butchering and curing animal meats, harvesting wheat, and other chores that were a common part of 19th century life were also a source of curiosity and research for the kids.

I highly recommend these books for your upper elementary aged child. The illustrations in this particular edition are very well done and the kids liked the artwork as well. Some of the sketches were black and white, others in color, but all were beautiful.

Because of the fascination and interest our kids had with this book, the first in the series which we will be continuing, we have started watching season one of the Little House television series that began in 1974. Because I was far too young to have watched or even remember those first few seasons, it has been an event for me as well. The kids were a little bummed that the episodes they have watched so far didn’t quite match up with the book. It provided a brief lesson on the ways that television shows and movies are adapted from books.

If you haven’t read these books I recommend them. They are great books to read whether you are 12 years old, or 42.

Grade: B+

7 thoughts on “Little House in the Big Woods

  1. leahbird says:

    We love the Little House books! I think we are on the fourth or fifth reading of the Big Woods right now… My girls have a special affinity for Laura, as we live about 45 minutes away from the site of their original cabin near Pepin, WI and have traveled to Walnut Grove, MN and their final homestead in De Smet, SD.

    Sadly, the TV show is only loosely affiliated with the books. The original 2-hour miniseries is the only one to follow the Little House on the Prairie novel somewhat closely. I can’t remember if that is the beginning of season 1 or not, you might have to search for it on youtube.

    If you enjoyed the book, definitely finish off the series. The Ingalls family has lots of great adventures, and Laura does such a nice job of describing all the details.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bike Bubba says:

    I remember getting really hungry reading some of those passages to my kids, and it was even worse (or better) during “Farmer Boy”, which chronicles the young life of Almanzo. Agreed with my neighbor Leah (I am about an hour from Pepin as I write this) that the show really doesn’t do it justice–it was a little too much about Michael Landon, really. My kids love it anyways, but still. We’ve also made maple syrup as a family, but sad to say have not slaughtered a hog in our garden shed, nor smoked it in a dead tree stump. We have made cracklings, though.

    Interesting side note; when I was living in the Twin Cities, it was said that people in Savage (south side of the metro) were hearing the telltale cries of a cougar just about ten years back. It sounds like a baby crying. So they may be coming back a little, but they say that the smell of lutefisk keeps them away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hearthie says:

    I loved those books and read them ragged when I was a girl. The TV show is just the same brand, not the same story, mustn’t compare them. (Although I expect it would make good, wholesome family viewing, with a strong male character – so certainly not a loss.

    My favorite book (after, perhaps, little house in the big woods) was the Long Winter.


  4. Regina Shea says:

    I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t know Laura Ingalls Wilder was a real person until I started homeschooling and I never read the books until I started homeschooling. I used to have the complete set but I gave them away to a ministry that helps homeschool families overseas.

    Liked by 1 person

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