Tracy's Reviews > Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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Aug 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: children, little-house
Read in August, 2012

After reading Little House, Long Shadow, I decided I need to re-read the entire Little House series, and of course I started at the beginning. I read these books over and over again as a child in the 70s, and I read them to my children about eight years ago.

Laura is 5 in this first book. The story begins at the end of summer, and takes us through a full year of life in the Big Woods, chronicling all the work and preparation the family does to survive from season to season. The overall feel of the book is cozy and pleasant, with busy and industrious parents, helpful children (who do have their moments of jealousy and squabbling), fun visits with family, and an exciting adventure into town. Family stories are interspersed throughout. Indeed, I believe Laura wrote this first book to preserve the memories of these family stories.

The descriptions are so lovely and vivid. As I read this series to myself as an adult, I am looking for what it is about them that appealed to me so much as a child. I think the author's ability to make her childhood come alive for the reader is key. That, and the very safe and loving environment she portrays, despite the hard work and dangers.

I love how much these few simple lines convey about the relationship between the parents and the security the children feel:
Pa looked at Ma and said "Nobody'd starve to death when you were around, Caroline." "Well, no," Ma said. "No, Charles, not if you were there to provide for us."

One interesting fact I've recently learned: Aunt Eliza and Uncle Peter, who visit for Christmas with their children, are the sister of Caroline and brother of Charles, and Uncle Henry and Aunt Polly, who have the naughty son Charley who steps on a yellow jacket nest, are the brother of Caroline and sister of Charles.
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