Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review of Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Synopsis from Goodreads: "Wolves and panthers and bears roamed the deep Wisconsin woods in the 1870's. In those same woods, Laura Ingalls lived with her Pa and Ma and her sisters, Mary and Baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunted and trapped. Ma made her own cheese and maple sugar. All night long, the wind howled lonesomely."

My Review: I absolutely love this book! This was one of those books my mom started reading to my brother and me at a very young age. I remember wishing I was Laura. My mom even let us try some of the recipes they used in the book, we made butter they way they did once, with the carrots to dye it, and the candies with the snow. I have actually been seeing a lot about this book and whole series lately on other blogs. Some people raving about how much they love the book, and others were very negative. I think the thing to keep in mind that this was written from Laura's memory with a little bit of fictionalization mixed in, also that it was placed in a totally different time period, similar to Huck Finn or To Kill A Mockingbird. While some of the ideas and language and prejudices that are in the series are not appropriate now, they were common thought then. While I don't agree with some of the things said, I can still enjoy the book for what it is.

Reading Little House in the Big Woods over 20 years since I first listened to my mom read it to us, I love it just as much, and honestly maybe a little more. I almost wish we could go back to a time where families were close, we didn't need the latest and greatest, were satisfied with what we have, and work hard for what we eat and use. I think it would make us all a little more appreciative. I also would love to go back and sit on Pa's knee listening to stories and songs and feel the comfort and safety Laura felt knowing that no matter what Pa had his gun and would always protect the family.

Can I also say that Garth Williams illustrations are genius?! They fit the book so well and it is nice to come along a random illustration that isn't just about what Laura is doing.

My Rating: I love this book and look forward to reading it to my own kids and can't give it a rating any less than Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

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