Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1)
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Little House in the Big Woods (Little House #1)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  112,667 ratings  ·  2,639 reviews
Laura Ingalls and her family live deep in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Their log cabin is surrounded by miles of trees, and their closest neighbors are bears, wolves, and panthers. Daily chores keep Laura and her sister Mary busy, but they still find time to go exploring with their dog, Jack.
Paperback, 198 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by HarperTrophy (first published 1932)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
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16th out of 2,710 books — 7,483 voters


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Community Reviews

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Summer
I started rereading this series because of John Scieszka's bizarre hatred of Little House on the Prairie. In attempting the perfectly noble task of getting young boys to read more, Scieszka has continuously heaped scorn on that book, banishing it to the girl ghetto of the Sweet Valley High and American Girls series. Putting aside the unfair comparison to syndicate titles published for purely commercial reasons, his assesment of Little House as a book purely for girls is infuriating.

For one thing...more
Laurel Wicke
Reading this to my daughter has helped me rediscover the joy of the Little House series all over again. Probably the best gift this little book has to offer is that of perspective. How blessed but complicated our lives seem now. How very different and yet the same. I loved sharing a slice of history with my child who has no concept of life before dvr's, minivans, and microwaves. That a child could be happy with a corncob doll was a unique thought. This series should be on the reading list for ev...more
Brad
For a few years now, I've been interviewing my twins after they finish reading their books, posting those interviews on their own goodreads profile. My girl, Brontë, finished reading Little House in the Big Woods about a month ago, and I read it this week (I always read or reread the books they've read.) You can see that interview with me right here:

Brontë: So first ... did you like it? did you love it? or did you hate? did you think it was okay? or did you really like it?

Pa: I loved it. It was...more
Prayudi Setiadharma
I found this book among my aunts' collections in my grandpa's house when i was living there for three-months back in 1987. Once I read it, I never stop to read over and over again.

Well, the life of the Ingalls is wonderful indeed. But what attracts me more is the fact that this book always makes me hungry all the time. You don't believe me, do you? Well, don't take my words for it, just try yourself...especially when you're reading through the "pouring hot maple syrup in the snow", "roasting th...more
Kathleen
Aug 09, 2007 Kathleen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents and teachers as a read-aloud book, young readers of all ages
I did a wonderful year-long read aloud with my kindergarten class last year, and it was a fantastic experience. They asked so many good questions, and it spawned so much good discussion, exciting writing and enthusiasm about the books. Kids talked, wrote and drew pictures about different episodes all year. I highly recommend it. I would have loved to integrate this with more study of one-room schoolhouses and our city so many years ago (maybe for 2nd grade?). Part of the reason this worked well...more
Libby
This first installment in the Little House series has always been my favorite (although I love them all, and am letting this single review stand in for the series entire), probably because A. As the first Little House book I read, I hold a special affection for its magic (it was my entree into an amazing other world) and B. As other smart reviewers have pointed out, there's something sort of sad about the fact that it chronicles the only chapter in Laura's life in which she was surrounded by her...more
D
Sep 26, 2007 D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of American lore
The first installment in the Little House series is, hands down, my favorite. Unlike later books, this window into a young Laura's first home, where for the only time in her life she's surrounded by extended family, their cultures, and their heritage, stands in contrast to the transience that marks her well into adulthood. Little House in the Big Woods takes comfort in housekeeping's simple pleasures, Pa's chilling stories told before a crackling fire in a snug log cabin, and family communion. T...more
Kaeleigh Forsyth
I'm gonna read the series this week. I got the fanciest box set on sale at Strand, and the cashier goes, "wow you must be the greatest aunt in the world." naw bitch, these are mine. I didn't get my nephew shit.

Wendy Darling
My annual re-read, this time with the lovely Heidi! :)
Shell The Belle
4.75 Excellent Heart Tugging stars!!

I watched this series as a youngster growing up, and now with three girls of my own I read this to the older two at bedtimes a few years back.

What struck me is the difference from the TV series; whilst Pa is still a strong character and is no doubt a good man and wonderful father, things surprised me, such as when he beat Laura with a stick after she had a fight with Mary.

Also, the way Laura talks about Mary, as in she appears to really resent her, doesn't com...more
Sarah
3.5 stars from me, 5 from Owen.

His review:

I chose to have more than a zillion stars. It was about the author growing up when she was a kid. One of the most interesting part was about the [wheat] thrasher guys. They had this big machine that ran on horsepower called the separator. It separated wheat.

There was a dance in it at Grandpa's house. The author's Grandpa used maple trees to make maple syrup that they put on snow to make yummy candy.

It was all about the 1870s, when Laura Ingalls Wilder...more
Leea
This took us awhile to finish, we read a few chapters per week as a family and the boys wouldn't read unless dad was here. I have to say reading this with my children added that extra element for me. They asked questions about hunting and living without indoor pluming. Not to mention all the ways Ma prepared all the food for the family. We laughed at Pa attacking the "bear" which ended up being a large bush and loved his songs to put Laura, Mary and baby Carrie to sleep at night. Seeing the big...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Second reading: 4/10/2011

I went nuts for this series beginning in 4th grade, so much so that I was convinced I'd been born in the wrong century. Given how crazy I was about these books, it's surprising I never went back to read them again before now. Thank you, Kressel, for the inspiration.

The two memories that stayed with me about this book down through all these years were the way Pa played the fiddle at night and the part where they poured the maple syrup on snow. Reading it again refreshed m...more
Jamie
Every child in America, boy or girl, should read these books or, better yet, have their parents read them to them. I have wonderful memories of sitting on my mom's lap in a rocking chair while she read to me of all the trails and adventures of the Ingalls family. It's reminds us of where we came from and how hard the pioneers worked for America to thrive.
Ann
My mom read this series to me when I was young, and I've held a soft spot for them ever since. So, it was wonderful to read them again as an adult and find Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing just as intriguing, captivating, fascinating and beautifully sweet!

Laura is only about three years old here, and the story centers around one year in her life. In addition to Laura there is her older sister Mary, and Ma, Pa, and Baby Carrie.

The first thing that struck me upon rereading this was how "slow" it in...more
Denee
Apr 18, 2008 Denee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
I was at the library one day and searching in desperation for a book that my 6 year old wouldn't be able to finish in the short 3 minute drive from the library to home. Glancing around, I spied the shelf of Little House books. "Aha!" I thought. "The Little House in the Big Woods will keep her busy for at least 3 or 4 days. Plus, it's full of good manners and details of a life when you had to work as a family to be able to survive." I checked the book out and my daughter started reading it voraci...more
Emily
We just finished reading this aloud for bedtime story, and my boys loved it! They were fascinated to learn about how certain things were made long ago, like bullets and cheese and maple syrup. And they enjoyed comparing the Ingalls' Christmas celebration to ours - they were horrified that they each only got two or three presents! But they thought playing with a pig's bladder was really gross.

We're on to Little House on the Prairie next!

For more book reviews, come visit my blog, Build Enough Book...more
Manny
I didn't usually like girly books when I was a kid, but this one was an exception. Her matter-of-fact descriptions of life in the Big Woods were just so fascinating! The fact that the main character was a girl seemed pretty irrelevant.

Beth Ann and I have several times discussed writing a modern-day sequel entitled Little House in the Valley. Laura gets up early every morning to sort the spam and check the website. Then she squeezes orange juice and makes two big lattes for Daddy and his boyfrien...more
Becky
I never read these when I was younger. I believe my Mom read them to my sister, and I was pretty anti-all-things-western and anything I perceived as "girly" and I think I may have had these books confused with Little Women, or something.

Any ways, I grabbed a few in this series when I was at a library sale, mostly because I'm terribly compulsive. That was years ago, then after a long week of work, I wanted to read something simple. I grabbed this from my library, crawled into the bath with a beer...more
Alex
It's been about 20 years since I last read this series, but as soon as I started this book it all came rushing back. I credit books like this for getting me hooked on historical fiction!

I wasn't sure how this book would hold up, but I was just as entranced by the story now as I was when I was a kid. I'm not sure how much of my enjoyment came from the nostalgic memories but it doesn't really matter, I absolutely loved re-reading this! As a kid, I was very fascinated by the day-to-day life these l...more
Alison
Little House in the Big Woods is a book I will never forget. Laura Ingalls Wilder is a wonderful author, she describes everything with beautiful description, like how the pie melts in her mouth and how the grass tickles her toes. She explains the hardships of living in the 18th century but also tells you about the fun times she had when she was a child. This is the first book in the series of her Little House books and it is all about when she was five and how she used to live and some significa...more
Julianna
Dec 22, 2008 Julianna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction - Young & Old
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Throughout my childhood, I read the Little House on the Prairie books several times, and they became some of my all-time favorites. I probably hadn't picked one up since my early teens though, and finally rediscovered the series when I decided to share it with my children. I made the pleasant discovery that I still enjoy it every bit as much as an adult, as I did when I was a kid. I've always had a love for history, and the vivid descriptions of pioneer life just draw me...more
Sophie Riggsby
* Review posted on Mundie Kids on 11/20/2012*

http://mundiekids.blogspot.com/2012/1...


You know when you're pregnant and you start buying books that you hope your child will love as much as you did? But because they're not even born you put them away on a shelf and years go by, the baby grows and one day she comes home all excited to read that very book? It just happened to me. I loved the Little House series when I was growing up. And when my MundieTween came home clutching Little House in the B...more
Duchess Nicole
Finished reading this to my three girls. I'm so very glad that they are finally all old enough to understand this series. I loved these as a child, but had forgotten so much about them. After all, who reads these after age twelve or so? I just needed the excuse of having all daughter, I guess. And both they and my husband (and me!) were equally captured by Laura's childlike view of her tiny world. Amazing, this day and age, to read of such simple times and of the familial bonds that are made whe...more
Scooping it Up
I am reading this out loud to two kindergartners, a fifth grader and a first grader. One chapter in we have talked about animal rights, how people ate and lived differently before electricity and grocery stores.

They are completely and utterly hooked and enamored. It also prompted a discussion about eating real, whole, unprocessed food. They expressed the desire for us to continue to eat better and do a better job of appreciating the food we do have. All this just one chapter in.

Love this book....more
Wendy
Aug 29, 2007 Wendy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kids and outdoorsy types
Shelves: recommended
Again a great book to read with your children. (Okay, I'm biased because my parents read the whole series to me.) Little House in the Big Woods is about the Ingalls family when they lived in the Wisconsin woods - hunting, trapping, and farming for a living. It has loads of details about every day life and the family and community life in such a secluded setting. There is danger from the animals in the woods - panthers, bears, badgers, bees, etc. It also talks about simultaneously loving the wood...more
Becky
I loved these books when I was a little girl. I don't remember them individually, rather as a whole, so this re-read was part refresher and part new experience.

This is a sweet book, but it didn't really live up to my shining golden childhood memories. There wasn't really much story here - it was more a chronicling of pioneer life, and their simple joys and trials and the simple love and respect that they had for each other.

I'll admit that Pa wasn't as perfect as my shining golden childhood mem...more
Emily
Sep 21, 2012 Emily added it
Re-reading this great set of books! Brings back comforting memories as a child reading these books curled up in my comfy living room with my quilt and the smell of the wood burning stove. Discovering new aspects of the series that I could have only picked out at an older age.
Elizabeth
Feb 07, 2011 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Under 14
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Ellie
Shelves: school-books
We are reading it for Social Studies.
Julesmarie
I'm starting Little House on the Prairie with my students today, and found out that they read this book last year. To help them with the transition to book 2, I figured I'd better read book 1 as well.

I found it to be as delightful as Little House on the Prairie in the depth of detail given about everyday life so long ago. The graphic descriptions of butchering the hog and preparing it and various other animals for food for the winter disturbed me quite a bit (likely because I'm a vegetarian, but...more
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Is this a "girl" book? 37 120 Aug 08, 2014 06:06PM  
enjoyment 6 35 Feb 09, 2014 09:54PM  
Read in school 35 139 Feb 09, 2014 07:56AM  
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wildner 11 52 Jan 19, 2014 10:06AM  
Who would you be off of LH? 17 102 Oct 20, 2013 12:24PM  
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Ingalls wrote a series of historical fiction books for children based on her childhood growing up in a pioneer family. She also wrote a regular newspaper column and kept a diary as an adult moving from South Dakota to Missouri, the latter of which has been published as a book.
More about Laura Ingalls Wilder...
Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2) The Little House Collection (Little House, #1-9) On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4) Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7) By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)

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“She thought to herself, "This is now." She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.” 25 likes
“That machine's a great invention!" he said. "Other folks can stick to old-fashioned ways if they want to, but I'm all for progress. It's a great age we're living in. As long as I raise wheat, I'm going to have a machine come and thresh it, if there's one anywhere in the neighborhood.” 6 likes
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