Little House in the Big Woods
Published by Harper Trophy on March 8, 2016
Genres: Children's, Classic, Historical Fiction
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Meet Laura Ingalls, the little girl who would grow up to write the Little House books. Wolves and panthers and bears roam the deep Wisconsin woods in the late 1870's. In those same woods, Laura lives with Pa and Ma, and her sisters, Mary and Baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunts and traps. Ma makes her own cheese and butter. All night long, the wind howls lonesomely, but Pa plays the fiddle and sings, keeping the family safe and cozy.
You know, I didn’t realize this tale is the very first installment in Wilder’s Little House series until after I’d read Little House on the Prairie! But, back in the day, I wasn’t quite as focused on reading things in order! I think after I discovered that I did, in fact, begin the series with book three, I immediately started paying more attention to release dates! 😀
Anyhow, I read Little House in the Big Woods for the second time, the first as an adult, and adored it as much as I did then. Wilder introduced me to historical fiction and I recall being impressed and shocked when I finally figured out that Laura Ingalls Wilder is THE Laura in the books!
I adore every aspect of this particular tale and I’m thrilled with myself for reading it again after SO many years. Wholesome, family-oriented, and just plain good, Little House in the Big Woods takes me back in time, not only to the 19th century of Laura’s childhood years, but to the 20th century, when my childhood flew by like a flash.
Perhaps my most favorite aspect of the Little House books is the sweet tenderness of Ma and Pa. Pa is the epitome of a daddy and husband – he works his ass off to feed, clothe, and house his little family of females and teaches Laura and her sister Mary practically everything, because he seemingly knows everything – in a good way. I adore that he fiddles for his girls and makes them dance and giggle; he’s such an amazing role model.
The Little House books should truly be read by everyone, not only children. The heartwarming nature of the stories, even the tearjerkers, is hot soup for the soul. I’m so thrilled to be back with the Ingalls family at the beginning of their coming journey across the prairie.
Up next is Farmer Boy, about the early days of Wilder’s eventual husband, Almanzo Wilder. I like that Wilder veers from her own family’s life to that of her husband’s childhood; it sets up his entrance into Laura’s life when she becomes a young woman just perfectly. Apparently, every reader in the world has the same idea as I – to reread the Little House series, as I’m roughly seven weeks away from the release of my library hold – and I’ve been on hold for absolute ages!
Rereading Little House in the Big Woods made me feel as I did the first time I read it, like a happy little girl who simply obsesses over books. I remember vividly the shelf of my elementary school’s library that held Wilder’s books, along with those by such iconic-to-me authors as Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary.
Let’s just end with me saying I’m so tickled to return to the prairie; it feels like being with an old friend again.
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