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Little House in the Big Woods (1932)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little House: The Laura Years (1), Little House novels, chronological order (book 16)

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13,382253344 (4.13)256
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father's stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.

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» See also 256 mentions

English (247)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Greek (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (253)
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
Enchanting, my favorite books as a child. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
A very young Laura Ingalls (she celebrates her 5th birthday in the book) tells about life in a Wisconsin cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her older sister Mary, and her baby sister Carrie. Over the course of about a year, Laura describes the hard work of frontier life, interspersed with times for play and family gatherings.

My fourth grade teacher read this to the class and I was bored to tears at that age. It didn’t speak to this child of the TV generation. I had no frame of reference for the kinds of chores that were part of the Ingalls family’s daily existence, and Laura was too young to interest a 9-year-old.

My adult self relished the vivid descriptions of farm living. My own Midwestern ancestors likely lived in much the same way. I was struck especially by Laura’s description of her mother, who worked with joy and had just the right blend of firmness and gentleness with her children.

I highly recommend listening to the audio version if you can get your hands on it. Cherry Jones’ superb narration enhanced the experience, as did Paul Woodiel’s fiddle interludes. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 16, 2022 |
Listened to the audiobook performed by Cheery Jones. It was awesome. Laura's life in the big woods came to life through her voice. Ms. Jones sang all Pa's songs, and the producers provided fiddler music as background too. It's a very sweet story about a family's four seasons in Wisconsin big woods about 100 years ago. There's detailed information about how they gather/make all kinds of food in different seasons, how they celebrate Christmas, how they hold a dance....etc. I really appreciated the last chapter, in which Pa went out to hunt but ultimately became awed by the wildlife he saw and came home with nothing. You get a sense of the author's love of nature from between the lines. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
I'm beginning a reread of this series, and this wintry story of the Ingalls family was perfect for the cold days of January! I loved these books as a child. Laura's voice came through as a feisty, smart, optimist with a great sense of wonder for the natural world around her. As I listened, I remembered something so special about this character: her ability to appreciate the excitement of small moments. The audio includes small bursts of singing and banjo playing as Laura shares some of Pa's favorite songs. I'm eager to continue rereading this series. Note: Last year I also read The Birchbark House series by Indigenous writer Louise Erdrich, a trilogy with a companion duet which covers the life of an Ojibwe family during a similar time period in US history. I am reading the Little House books with awareness that they offer only one slender version of life in the late 1800s, and that these books do not include the perspective of non-white members of the community at the time. I highly, highly recommend The Birchbark House series as a delightful, important, and beautifully written way to learn about life at the time.
  starlight-glimmer | Jan 5, 2022 |
Little House in the Big Woods recounts a little over a year in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder living in the Wisconsin backwoods in the 1870s. Wilder recounts various events in her childhood that gives a modern-day reader a glimpse of what life was like in the northern frontier when your nearest neighbor was miles away, a trip to town a few hours would be an all-day affair, and wild animals of all sorts would visit throughout the year. Given the period written about and at what time Wilder wrote the book, there are things that would not be written or printed today however a responsible parent or educator would use that as an excellent teaching moment. And the illustrations of Garth Williams are a nice addition to the book and bring some of the stories to better perspective. ( )
  mattries37315 | Nov 27, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 247 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura Ingalls Wilderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, CherryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sewell, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tenfjord, JoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, GarthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.
"Pa might hunt alone all day in the bitter cold, in the Big Woods covered with snow, and come home at night with nothing for Ma and Mary and Laura to eat."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father's stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The auto-biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a girl growing up in the late 19th century in Wisconsin.
One of the things I really like about this book is that Laura is famous only for having written such a great description of her life and the world in which she grew up. She didn't grow up to be a famous inventor or politician or axe-murderer or anything else. She was just a kid, like any of her readers.
While I'm sure softening some of the hardships and glossing over some of the details, Ms Wilder neither sensationalizes nor romanticizes her life - moments of happiness, joy, sadness, fear and despair are all included.

This is a great book for talking about what life was like in that place and time.
Haiku summary
Small girl in the woods
Held safe from bears, snow, hunger
in family's arms.


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