Title: Little House in the Big Woods
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Published: 1932; Pages: 238
Genre: Children’s Chapter Book
The Short of It: Little House in the Big Woods is the first installment of the Little House on the Prairie books. It details one year in the life of the Ingalls family in Wisconsin and is focused on Laura, the middle of three children.
Why I Read It: Once upon a time Lisa of Books.Lists.Life was holding a readalong for Little House in the Big Woods. I’m super late to the party.
Thoughts in General: I’m going to let Lisa’s questions guide this post but I did want to start by noting this is my very first experience with Little House in any way. I’ve heard friends talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder with much adoration but we didn’t read her books growing up and I never watched the TV series. I had no idea what to expect going into this book (shocking, right?) but I didn’t realize it was going to be quite so (ahem) simple. It took me much longer to get through the first 238 pages (with big font and pictures) than I expected and I don’t think I can use the word enjoy in context of reading Big Woods. I feel like I’m letting you down by saying that! Can we still be friends?
Lisa’s Questions (don’t worry–there really isn’t anything I could even spoil in this book)
Was this your first time reading the book? Yessiree Bob!
Were these childhood favorites? No. Maybe Canadian kiddos don’t read Little House books? (joking)
What scene stood out the most to you? In the winter the Ingalls family tap the Maple Trees for Maple Syrup. I loved visiting maple farms on school trips when I was little and tasting the fresh maple syrup. In a way this part felt nostalgic for me.
Do you think your children could play all summer with two dolls and some acorns? Is this really a question about whether I think kids are overstimulated? You can’t trick me Lisa! ;) As long as Elle had a place to put her acorns, I think she could learn to be quite content.
Do you think kids today like the books as much as we did? As much as our parents did? I’m not sure if my parents have read these either. I’ll have to remember to ask. I bet my stepmom did. Personally I love pioneer type things and would probably have eaten this up as a kid and then played Pioneer with my sisters. I’m going to have to have a talk with my mom as to why we didn’t read these books growing up. (Had talk with mom. She said it was because she thought the TV show was hokey when she was growing up. Ha!).
Would you take a bite of head cheese? Um, no thank you.
How would your family handle three days of enforced togetherness? A week? A month? A month is maybe a long time but my family spends a lot of time together. Much to our husbands’ chagrin, I’m sure. This is what happens when three immediate families live within a mile of each other!
What about the songs Pa sang? Am I the only one who skimmed those? I skim all songs/poems in books. I’ve been told this will serve me well when I finally read Possession.
What other thoughts do you have on the book as a whole? While I personally did not get a whole lot of enjoyment out of reading Little House in the Big Woods, I can see myself eventually getting the boxed set and reading them to the girls when they are older and can sit through a chapter a night or help me read a chapter. I like the idea of these books and think that they could generate fun discussions or even activities with kids, but for personal reading fun? Not so much.
My question to y’all: What are your experiences with reading children’s books as an adult? So far I’ve had trouble getting into many of the books that I didn’t read as a kiddo–Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Little House. I wondered if the first two were because I’d seen TV/movie adaptations, but I think there’s more to it than that. What do you think?
Oops–a book post on Saturday. It was one of those weeks (I think for everyone). Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!