Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingalls and her family live deep in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Their log cabin is surrounded by miles of trees, and their closest neighbors are bears, wolves, and panthers. Daily chores keep Laura and her sister Mary busy, but they still find time to go exploring with their dog, Jack.
Little House on the Prairie
A family travels from the big woods of Wisconsin to a new home on the prairie, where they build a house, meet neighboring Indians, build a well, and fight a fire. Includes a detailed account of how the novel was written and published.
When I was younger, this was one of my favourite series. Laura shaped my childhood. So I decided to re-read Little House in the Big Woods now, as a teenager. Luckily, it was still (almost) as good as I remember it.
It was so interesting seeing how Laura and her family lived then. Their lives were so incredibly different. Up until now, when Laura was 6, and Mary around 8, they had never seen a town. The closest town was 7 miles away, and they were considered too young to travel that far. That’s ridiculous! They were so shocked at how big it was when they finally got there; even though, from what I could tell, it was tiny. It was kind of sweet to see their surprise, I thought.
The writing was a little basic though. For a kid, it’s absolutely fine. The exciting part of the story is seeing how their daily lives went on. But for me, I did want a little more to happen. There were a few exciting stories, like Ma slapping the bear, or Pa being chased by the panther. But for the most part, it wasn’t too interesting. There were detailed scenes on how to make butter, or cooking breakfast. Interesting for a while, but not for a whole book.
My advice; don’t re-read books you loved as a kid. They’re almost never as good as you remember the first time
Compared to the first book, Little House on the Prairie was a lot more interesting. And, again, it had all those great memories of me reading this when I was a kid!
The book started with the family moving away from the only home they’d known, and making a new life on the prairie. I loved reading that part. It wasn’t like how they were when they were living in a house. There, it was all about how they sewed, or how they played with their dolls. When they were just starting out their new lives, they had to build everything from scratch. It was interesting reading about how they made their own house. It was impressive that they did that, and built a well, and on and on. Pa even managed to build a rocking chair, because he was “too sore to work”. That was his idea of a casual weekend. My idea of a casual weekend is blobbing out in my pjs in bed. This family never stopped working.
I liked seeing how they treated the Indians, too. Ma was completely racist. She was so afraid of them, even though they’d done nothing wrong. Pa was sure that they would kick them out of their country, so that the whites could settle there. Laura spent half the trip saying how much she wanted to see a papoose, an Indian baby. Then when she saw one, she wanted to keep it for her own. Luckily, Pa and Laura actually treated them like people. Pa told Ma countless times not to be afraid of them. But he was one of the different ones. It was crazy seeing how separated they were, and how superior the whites believed themselves to be.
Again, this wasn’t as good as I remembered it. It’s quite a short book, luckily, or I think I would’ve got bored. But it is nice to get to go back to my childhood through these books again