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Happy Little Family

(Fairchild Family Stories #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  289 ratings  ·  51 reviews
It is a good thing that mothers understand what no one else seems to when you are the youngest child in the family, and are finally four years old. Bonnie is more than ready to join her older sisters and brother in the many adventures she sees come their way, whether it be sliding along the ice, searching for arrowheads, or going on that journey of all journeys-across the ...more
Paperback, 107 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Ignatius Press (first published 1947)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  289 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My 6-year-old and I adored this sweet story about the Fairchild family living in Kentucky during pioneer times. The focus is on the youngest child, Bonnie, who can't wait to grow up and be like her older siblings.

There's a strong family theme throughout with wonderful character building. It's written well with illustrations that offer a nice break in the text for younger readers. It's very enjoyable and reminded me of Little House on the Prairie.

Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
As the little sister, 4-year-old Bonnie longs to be big enough to have and do all that her older siblings experience. Through adventures big and small, she soon learns that growing up isnt as easy as she expected. A family-friendly tale set in simpler times when families, friends, and neighbors worked and played together. ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1910s-1950s
4.5 STARS An absolute delight! My six-year-old and I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the Happy Little Family series. I don't know why these are so hard to find (no copies available in my local library district and the paperback reprints not inexpensive used--I ended up buying this new as a Christmas gift). These are perfect for children who enjoy gentle tales of yesteryear as this takes place in early 1900s Kentucky. This one is even tamer and less troublesome than Little House on the ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Turning four is practically turning ten, or at least almost six. Just ask sweet little sister Bonnie who is thrilled to be out of babyhood and scrambling to play catch up to her 3 older sisters and 1 older brother in this enchanting Appalachian pioneer farm family.

Happy Little Family is the first of four books in the Fairchild Family series by Rebecca Caudill. HLF is a beautiful and idyllic opening to a lovely and life giving series that focuses in on the daily milestones of a just turned 4
Luisa Knight
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Caudill really does an exceptional job with her writing. She writes just how a little child would think or talk; which makes it comical for the adults reading the book and relatable and engaging for the children listening to it.

The stories she tells are memorable and worth having a discussion over with your little ones as they are common situations your kids will run into. Should Debby have been envious of her sister's hat? Should Bonnie have treated her sister that way? It can help
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was fantastic! Oh so funny, charming, happy and yes, sad. I loved every minute. If you're tired of the depressing news and need a break, get this for a light read.
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sweet little story surrounding the different seasons in a year of the Fairchild family, mainly focusing on the youngest, Bonnie, just turned four at the beginning of the book. Bonnie is in a hurry to grow up and be like her big siblings, but her parents encourage her to enjoy what she has and can do now. I loved the author's book "Tree of Freedom" growing up and had I known about this one when I was younger, it probably would have been a favorite too.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
children's author who writes about life in Eastern KY in the 20's and 30's
Katie Fitzgerald
Four-year-old Bonnie Fairchild and her older siblings Althy, Debby, Emmy, and Chris live in the Kentucky hills in the early 1900s. As the youngest child, Bonnie is often babied by her siblings, but now that she is four she feels big enough to start doing some of the things they do, including wearing fancy hats, going ice skating, walking a path alone, and attending school. Happy Little Family covers a year in the life of the Fairchilds, telling a story set during each season which highlights the ...more
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars, because a chapter book that is of great literary style and appeals to -small- children is very hard to come by. Caudill's storytelling is exactly what I have been looking for in terms of a read-aloud for my 6 year old. I can't wait to continue the series. I am only surprised that there seems to be very few libraries that have these books!! It is a shame!
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one was great, awesome, and amazing too!
I actually read the second one first not on purpose!
( thanks Shiv for letting me borrow them! )
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is so sweet. It was written in the 1940's and it really feels you are being transported to a different time and place.

I didn't like one comment by the father about his daughter being wiser than many Indians. (It was in a chapter about finding arrowheads.) He does say that Indians are brave and wise, though.
Dec 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
Bonnie Fairchild is 4 in this first in the Fairchild series, set in 1900s Kentucky.
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
My four-year-old adored this read-aloud and the two older kids enjoyed it, too! You could easily read it aloud in two or three sittings.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
The cover of the edition I read said something like, For all those who love the Little House books. But this is nothing like those. No detailed descriptions of frontier life, no how-Pa-and-Ma-made-its, nothing like that. Scrappy little episodes that do get longer as the book goes, but the first two or three were disappointingly unfinished, cut off almost in mid-sentence. The characters are sadly undeveloped; Ma particularly seems to be limited to smiling and helping the kids get dressed, or ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
I enjoyed the Tree of Freedom by Caudill as a child and so I was excited to find this series of books at our library to read aloud to my young children. It is only 100 pages and divided into 5 chapters. Each chapter is episodic and there is no real overall theme or plot besides the fact that Bonnie wants to be a big kid.
I think this is a good read aloud for young children (think 4-6) or possibly a good chapter book for a young child who reads above their reading level. It is sweet and safe but
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is titled Happy Little Family, but I think it is mostly about four year old Bonnie. In the book beginning of the book Bonnie has just turned four, and she is so happy to be four because as she says in the book she "big enough." In this book Bonnie get s to go on little adventures, like ice skating, getting a toboggan cap like six year old Debby, and going to school. I think this is a very interesting. Bonnie is a happy little girl who wants to do everything the her siblings do. I enjoy ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, wholesome
I feel weird saying "it was amazing", but it was really adorable and my 7-year old loved it. I love that the protagonist is 4. She's the cutest. I also appreciate having a book to read that shows it is possible to have a big family and have siblings get along with each other (even if they're not perfect, like the Boxcar Children). I'd like to read the others in the series, but they are quite old and kind of hard to find.
Lydia Therese
Happy Little Family is the first book in the Fairchild Family Series by Rebecca Caudill.

First read this when I was 8 and really liked it. Now I like books with more of a plot and am definitely past my pioneer-olden-days-obsession phase, but re-reading it (an easy read, took me about an hour), it is still cute and I think any little girl from 5-9 would enjoy this more than I did.

3 stars out of 5.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thats cute. Ive never read it before.

Its vaguely reminiscent of The Little House books, but without all the depressing doom and gloom of rebuilding over and over.

The viewpoint mostly centering around a little girl who is almost fine now is particularly cute and seeing her interactions with her older siblings makes me look forward to when my own get to that age.
Katelyn Riemersma
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was charming! I read this with my four and a half year old little girl. She was enchanted with the main character, Bonnie, and understood her earnestness of not being little anymore. We greatly enjoyed the sweet relationship between the parents and children. If you love the Ingalls family, youll love the Fairchild family as well! ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this because I couldn't sleep and wanted to read something calming.
This is lovely. I like the characters and their interactions. It's not preachy or moralistic.
Bonnie's really sweet and a believable child character.
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschooling
4.5 stars from my 8yo. He really liked the different things the kids were able to do/accomplish. He docked a half star for when the kids kept asking if Bonnie was allowed to be there (at the beginning of the book)
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lizzie enjoyed this book, but wished that it had been one story arc for the book, instead of several episodes from theoughout a year, without really being tied together. ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A sweet, old-fashioned story about a family of seven living in the mountains of Kentucky. We enjoyed this one.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great first chapter book for young readers!
Ruthe Turner
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet little story about a family, especially little 4-year-old Bonnie, who live in the Kentucky hills in the early 1900's. It would be fun to read aloud to a little girl about that age.
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is delightful. A wonderful first read aloud for younger children.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I think it is a great short chapter book for young children. It was not as entertaining as I usually prefer. But overall its a great book.
Anna Murdock
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I just read this to Lydia, she seemed to like it. It was fun to read to her, because it is mainly about the youngest girl of 5 kids, so I think Lydia could relate some of it.
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American's children writer, as well as teacher and editor, known for her Appalachian fiction. Caudill graduated from Wesleyan College and, in 1922, received her master's degree from Vanderbilt University. She taught English in high school and college, and worked briefly as an editor. She moved to Urbana, Illinois, when she married James Ayars in 1931.

Caudill's book, Tree of Freedom, was a Newbery

Other books in the series

Fairchild Family Stories (4 books)
  • Schoolhouse in the Woods (Fairchild Family Stories #2)
  • Up And Down The River (Fairchild Family Story, Book 3)
  • Schoolroom in the Parlor

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