Monday, February 22, 2016

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Little House in the Big Woods is the novel that initially engaged me as an eight-year reader and started my lifelong love of reading. My Great-Grandma Kile gave me the first four books in the Little House set for my 8th birthday.  I promptly sat down and read Little House in the Big Woods that afternoon.

My five-year daughter Penelope has been on a Little House kick lately.  Her goal is that we will read all of the Little House books so that she can learn about Laura and Almanzo’s romance.  As a kid, my Great-Grandma Kile would read the books at the same time I would read them.  She also loved the romance between Laura and Almanzo the most and liked to talk about it.  I feel like I’m going full circle with Penelope
Little House in the Big Woods does a wonderful job of describing what it would be like to be a pioneer girl in the big woods of Wisconsin.  It’s also amazing as she captures what it is like to be a little girl with all of the feelings it encompasses.  I could tell as I read the book to Penelope that she empathized with Laura.  As it was told through Laura’s point of view, I could see how Penelope related, especially when Laura turned five just like Penelope.

Penelope told me that she liked “everything” about Little House in the Big Woods.  She really liked baby Carrie and the pictures.  Her favorite stories are the dance at Grandpa’s, getting her doll Charlotte for Christmas, Pa’s tales about his adventures.  She especially loved the tale of two bears.  She also like Pa pretending to be a dog, the songs, and Aunt Docia liking both girls hair and not agreeing with Mary that her hair was the prettiest.  Although Penelope has blond curls so she thought Mary’s hair should be the prettiest, but you could see the wheels turning where she realized that Aunt Docia was trying to make both girls feel good about themselves.  My husband Ben and I have been reading Penelope the story of the boy who cried wolf, so she really liked the similar story of Cousin Charlie and the bees.    

Both of my sons enjoyed this book when I read it to them five years ago or so.  They were still intrigued as they heard me reading it to Penelope.  Daniel loved the Cousin Charlie story and Kile especially loved the details of the harvesting machine.

Overall, Little House in the Big Woods is a classic as it tells a historical fiction story of what it was like to be a little girl living in the pioneer days.  The stories are intriguing and relatable to kids of all ages.

Book Source:  I bought a new set of Little House books from Amazon a few years ago so I wouldn’t wreck the beloved set from my childhood.


  1. I love the Little House books, and Big Woods in particular. It is so warm and interesting and appealing on so many levels. I credit it with my lifelong love of historical novels. I just finished Pioneer Girl, and am treating myself to a reread of the last four books in the series, having read the first four to my kids in the not too distant past.

    Rereading these treasures with my kids was definitely a wonderful experience. Glad to hear that your Penelope is a bonnet-head at heart, and I agree that there is a lot to enjoy for boy readers as well.

  2. Laura, I also love these books, and rediscovered them when my children were younger. It is wonderful to read and enjoy them with your family.

  3. It is fun to read and enjoy them again with kids. I read Pioneer Girl last summer so it is interesting rereading them with that information in mind. I can't wait to get to the last five books as I did not reread them with the boys a few years ago so it will be great to read them again after so long. We are planning a trip to Walnut Grove this summer and I am so excited!