Monday 20 April 2009

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Just before I start this review, I just want to say well done to all the book bloggers who took part in the Dewey 24 Read-a-thon. You all did so well to complete so many hours and raise money. Also well done to the organisers too. I really hope to take part in the October one.

Back to my review.

Pages - 137

First published in Great Britain in 1956. This copy republished in 2000.

Challenges - 100+ authors, Library Books and A to Z Titles

Who remembers rushing home from school, changing out of your school uniform, grabbing some much needed snacks and turning on the television to watch Little House on the Prairie, desperate to see what trouble Laura had got into in this time. Am I on my own here?

Remember Melissa Gilbert playing Laura and the legendary Michael Landon as Pa.

I loved Little House on the Prairie and remember nagging my mother to buy the books for me to read. Twenty years later, I found myself wanting to read them again, so off I popped to the library and there sitting lonely on the book shelf, not wanted by all these modern children, was Little House in the Big Woods.

This is the first book by Laura Ingalls Wilder and deals with the first house Laura lived in which was completely alone in the middle of the woods. The story depicts a year in the life of the Ingalls family, beginning with their preparation for winter and taking us right through to the following years preparations.

When reading this book, you feel like you are living with them, desperate to help them bring in the harvests of pumpkins and squashs, cutting, curing and smoking the meat ready for winter, collecting the maple syrup from the trees and turning it into cakes and sweets. I felt hungry all the way through this book, everything made sounded so delicious.

The lives of the Ingalls sounded so simple and easy, yet in reality they would have found it hard. Everything they ate had to be grown or cooked by themselves. They worked long hours to keep food on the table. They very rarely saw anyone during winter, as it was too far to travel. They lived in fear of bears and panthers in the woods. All their clothing would be made by hand by Ma, toys were often made out of wood by Pa. Barely anything would be bought from the store. I found myself almost wishing for this hard but simplistic lifestyle. Imagine the reading I could get done with no television blaring in the background.

My favourite part has to be when they cooked the maple syrup and then all rushed out to get a plateful of snow to dribble the maple syrup into, thus making hard candy. Yum!

I loved rereading this book as I found it very nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood when time seemed endless and I could read to my hearts content.

If you have never read this book then I would highly recommend you do. If you don't want to read it, then attempt to drag your children away from the television, their DS's, their Hannah Montana books and get them to read this beautifully, flavoursome classic, just so they realise how easy life is for them now.


  1. You know, I think I was the only kid on the planet that didn't like these books. :( I even decided to give them another go as an adult, and read them to my daughter when she was younger. (Even still have my ancient copies from childhood.) But I still didn't like them all that much, and neither did she. I must have passed on my mutant gene to her. ;)

  2. I've never read these books, but I loved the TV series.

    I gave you an award. Stop by my blog to check it out :)

  3. okay...i admit it: i LOVED this series when i was a kid and wanted nothing more than to pick up and move to a sod house in minnesota. 2 years ago my hub and i took a road trip from NJ to CA...along the way we passed signs for MANKATO..and i was like, "LITTLE HOUSE!!!" i also wanted to make the candy with syrup and snow and to be happy with a penny and an orange for christmas. lol.

  4. My friend LOVES this books and is in shock that I've never read the series or watched the TV show. One of these days... :)

  5. I loved these books and the tv show. My mom has this old set of the first 4 books I think it is and I've been thinking about rereading them. You're right they lived a simple life and yet they were so happy. I really liked the maple syrup scene too-can you imagine how good that tasted!

  6. I have the whole series, I look at them occasionally and think if I had all the time in the world, I'd definately reread them all. I wonder if my boys would like these books?

  7. I used to watch this show when I was little, i've never read the books. I need to get my daughter too, she would enjoy them.
    great review!

  8. I love these books and was so disappointed by the tv show when it deviated so wildly from the original books.

    The books portray the family so vividly, the joys and the hardships. It is a wonderful series.


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