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Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, No 1) Paperback – 1971

330 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Although the Little House stories are traditionally seen as "girl" books, boys might be happily surprised if they take another peek at their sisters' shelves. Little House in the Big Woods--the first book of the series and Laura Ingalls Wilder's first children's book--is full of the thrills, chills, and spills typically associated with "boy" books. Any boy or girl who has fantasized about running off to live in the woods will find ample information in these pages to manage a Wisconsin snowstorm, a panther attack, or a wild sled ride with a pig as an uninvited guest. Every chapter divulges fascinatingly intricate, yet easy-to-read, details about pioneer life in the Midwest in the late 1800s, from bear-meat curing to maple-tree sapping to homemade bullet making.

Wilder's autobiographical tales ring with truth and excitement. Readers will receive a perfectly painless history lesson, and in fact will clamor for more. Beloved illustrator Garth Williams spent years researching young Laura's pioneering family. His soft-line illustrations bring to life the full, simple days and nights in the family's log cabin. No one can read just one Little House book! (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Laura Ingalls's story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.

Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.

And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; HarperTrophy ed edition (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064400018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064400015
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (330 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in the Wisconsin woods in 1867. She wrote the Little House books based on her own experiences growing up on the Western frontier. Just like the characters in her stories, Laura and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest and experienced many of the same adventures. She finally settled down in Mansfield, Missouri with her husband, Almanzo, where she lived until her death in 1957.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I was in search of a good story to read aloud to my five year old daughter who loves books. To me, the obvious choice was Little House in the Big Woods, a book I associate with my own mother reading to me. This book was a fabulous choice. My daughter and I both looked forward to reading a chapter or two each night. This book sparked her interest in a time long ago, she is now constantly wondering if Laura and Mary had faucets and if they had Barbies. She has learned to appreciate what we have now, while also appreciating the beauty and joy of a simpler life. Laura and Mary are excellent role models for her. While they are children with spirit, they also mind their parents. This book has given her imagination a boost too for we all now pretend to be the Ingalls family. I highly recommend this book (and the rest of the series) to all parents of young children. It is perfect read aloud material for it holds a great story, with many moral lessons for our children.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Life is hard living on the frontier of Wisconsin in the 1870's. Laura is only a little girl, but she still needs to help with chorus around her family's log cabin. There are wild animals in the woods, and they must provide for themselves since the nearest town in hours away. But it's not all hard work. If Pa's not tired, he might entertain his daughters with a story or by playing his fiddle. With family relatively nearby to visit, life is certainly never dull.
I had not read these books since I was a child until picking this up to reread. I had forgotten how entertaining they really are. There is no real plot, just a collection of stories covering a year in the life of the Ingalls family. This makes sense since they really are an autobiographical work. Still, the simple charm of the stories sucked me right in and I had a hard time putting the book down. There is plenty of detail here to give anyone a good picture of daily life during this time. And I must mention the illustrations by Garth Williams that greatly add to the book.
There's a reason these books are so well loved 70 years after they were written. They are an entertaining look at everyday life in a different time and place. This is a book to treasure.
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54 of 67 people found the following review helpful By slomamma on April 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and fondly remember reading the Little House books when I was a child. I've just started reading the series to my 7-year-old daughter, though, and while she loved Little House on the Prairie, she was far less fond of this one. In fact, although she's usually a good listener, I found her attention constantly wandering as we read this book.
And in all honesty, I could understand why. Laura Ingalls Wilder is without a doubt one of the best children's writers who ever lived, but I think she had barely begun to show her enormous talent when she wrote this book. Although there are wonderful little snippets of family life, and a few hints of the conflicts between the feisty Laura and her more reserved and perfect sister Mary, the truth is, there isn't much of a plot here. And Mrs. Wilder goes on for page after page describing how bullets were made, or butter churned. There are probably children who find that fascinating, God bless them, but my daughter was just bored by it.
I don't think this is a BAD book, but Little House on the Prairie is so much better, so much more interesting that I think if you want to read the series to a young child, that's the place to start, even though this is the first book in the series. This is a book for children who have already fallen in love with Laura and her wonderful family.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Little House in the Big Woods, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, was fascinating. I think one of the reasons I liked it so much was because the Ingalls family was so close. One word that comes to mind is cozy. Maybe it's because they lived in a little house in the big woods. Or maybe it's becuase Pa used to play his fiddle by the fireside some evenings for Mary, Laura and Carrie. I remember when I read this book I was interested in the fact that they were pioneers. They might have moved from place to place but they always were positive about it. I loved reading about the three girls dancing at their Grandmother and Grandfather's house and having such a fun time. I remember Laura had a rag doll made out of a corncob that she loved so dearly. And it seemed as though the Ingalls family had such wonderful Christmases. In this book, there was nothing but simplicity. It didn't matter how much they moved or how they lived, as long as the family had each other.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By ty7777 on May 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
These are labeled as children's books and children may like or love them. Though in my experience, adults seem to like and appreciate them much more. These are good stories, and they are fascinating. The writing is simple yet articulate and very easy to picture, so they ARE great children's books. All you ever wanted to know about the life of that time period is right here. Okay it's true that these books and the television show that came from it is as much a moral lesson for children as a compelling group of stories.
It's almost like a lesson in respect and courage and family in every chapter of the series, kind of like the show. Though this first book is just a starter, it's mostly about the process of day to day life. I can say be careful to parents that want to read this to children not old enough to read this themselves though. If you are at all cautious of or worried about telling your younger children of certain practices like curing meat or something like that for whatever reason, then this may not be a book to buy. I suggest that if you have any reservations about how your children would react to hearing things like how Laura and Mary used an air filled and tied up pig bladder as a ball [By far the most explicit thing in the book and only mentioned for a paragraph or two] then maybe you should get this book from the library and proof read it first. Remember though this is mostly a nice series it is a dose of reality from a tough time in American history where each person or family had to make what they had and survive off the land if they were in the more unsettled territories. If you do like this book for yourself and or your children, or enjoy the show then you will probably like all the other books as well.
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Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, No 1)
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