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on May 20, 2007
I teach 5th grade and I purchased these books to complete my class set of these books. This new version is missing all of the wonderful sketches that made Laura's books famous. Why? The font is also smaller and the page numbers are different, making it difficult for the kids with this version to follow along. I'm most upset though at the lack of the illustrations that children have come to love since Laura wrote these books. Disappointing. Get the older version (without the photograph on the cover) if you can get it.
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Pa Ingalls is tired of how crowded the big woods are getting. So he decides to sell the house and move west with his family. Just before the ice breaks, the family loads up their wagon and heads out. They cross the Mississippi River and then head south, settling two days away from Independence, Missouri. Now they have to build a new house and survive the wilderness. Meanwhile, Laura is anxious to see a papoose. And with all the Indians in the area, she may get her chance.
This is a charming book. It's almost a collection of short stories with many chapters being a self-contained event. Still, through these pages, we get a good picture of life on the American frontier 130 years ago. The book gives plenty of detail about their everyday life without getting bogged down. And it is interesting. Frankly, some of the chapters are so harrowing I felt my pulse quicken. Often I found myself shaking my head in awe at what the Ingalls dealt with on a daily basis. This is a good way to make anyone appreciate just what we have today.
These books are still popular 70 years after they were first written for good reason. They are an entertaining and enlightening look at a bygone era.
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on May 3, 2002
I've recently started reading the Little House books to my seven-year-old daughter and I'm thrilled to discover that I love them just as much now as I did when I was her age. There are a lot of reasons for that. Laura Ingalls Wilder was a wonderful writer. She's simple and always crystal clear, but at the same time, she uses so much detail and has such a great sense of the rhythm of language that her writing is beautifully poetic and always a joy to read aloud. And the characters, of course, are among the most beautifully drawn characters in literature: the feisty Laura who has such a hard time doing what she's supposed to do, her frustratingly perfect sister Mary, her strict but kind parents. Even the animals in the book come across as interesting characters. No matter how tired I am in the evening, I always look forward to getting out Little House and reading a chapter or two.
Those were the things I loved about it as a child, and still love now. But as an adult I've also come to appreciate how quintessentially American this book is. It's the kind of book that makes you think about our heritage, and makes you proud to be American. In these books, Laura and her family keep facing hardships and meeting them head on. When necessary, they pick themselves up and move on to a new place, starting from scratch. They don't expect anything from anybody, and yet they care about their community and their neighbors. You often hear the words "pioneer spirit" used to describe America's best values, but after you read Little House that's not an empty phrase. You, and the child you read it to, understand it in your heart.
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on September 10, 1997
I've just finished reading Little House on the Prairie to my six year old son and he enjoyed every page. The classic illustration were his favorites and now we've returned to purchase Little House in the Big Woods to start the series from the beginning. He's learning to read now that he's started first grade and the Little House books are a much anticipated bed time activity
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on May 24, 2001
In my opinion: This may be a children's book, but it's just as good if not better for adults. The writing is simple but not insulting. The story itself is captivating. The occurences between the settlers and the American Indians were really amazing. All through the eyes of a little girl.
Laura Wilder had an amazing gift to tell stories and to make an accurate picture of the time she grew up in and of what she thought and felt as a girl. This is not like the show in many respects though. If you only want to read about the exact characters and stories from the show, this may surprise you. Mr. Edwards is not in here much and you won't see characters like Albert or Mr. Oleson in this book. As they live on the prairie, there is no school or store, only a few neighbors a few miles away. Also Indians which only actually show up now and then.
Again it is a story about hard work and family sticking together. Superior to the first book in that you already know alot of the mundane [though very interesting]details of their daily life, and the characters. Now it is full of story. The interactions with wild life alone are astounding as taken for fact. They are not just the amusing tid bits from the first book, but quite dangerous and spellbinding ones.
Fantastic book for anybody. The whole series is great.
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on November 27, 2013
One of my favourite childhood books--my "comfort books". Wish the Kindle version had the illustrations though--they add so much to the stories. All the "Little House" books teach so much about pioneer history but also good family values.
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on November 24, 2000
I can still remember this book after all these years. It was and still is a sweet story, one that must be read by every American. It continues to amaze me how well a simple children's story can capture the lifestyle and the spirit of the late 1800s. It is a tale of nothing less than the human experience: hardship and prosperity alike seen through the innocent eyes of a young girl.
Try as you may, you'll never be able to resist the charms of this story. Laura Ingalls Wilder will forever live on in your heart as a bright flame, symbolic of everything good in our country, our world, and our entire existence.
It is a must read for all children everywhere. A thousand times more valuable than Star Wars or Pokemon, it is something a kid can love and hold on to for the rest of his or her life.
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on February 17, 2014
I remember these books from my childhood and the story still remains in my heart and mind. The main story of embarking on a westward journey, setting up a homestead and enduring all of the struggles of that lifestyle is still profound and moving. It will inspire any child.

However, while I realize that this is a great book that sends the reader back in time, it could have benefited from some serious editing. There are so many digressions into extremely detailed subjects that most kids (or adults for that matter) cannot hold a real interest in. In fact, it sometimes reads as a historical account or a technical manual rather than a work of fiction. I am sure these details were extremely important to the author but they are hard to get through as a reader. I was surprised to feel this way since I remember loving these stories as a child. Perhaps I skimmed those parts...

I do realize that this type of writing was more acceptable back when this was originally published. I also realize that these details lend the story an honesty and accuracy that many stories lack. Plus this type of detail is useful for collective memory. However, if you are planning to buy this book to read to your child out loud be prepared to skip over these parts or fumble through an in-depth account of wagon axles and other similar technical details that drone on for several pages at a time.

I still feel that the main story has a lot to offer but wanted to warn others about my experience who, like me, many have forgotten the content of the story and only have an idealized memory of this book. There aren't a lot of balanced reviews about this book so I wanted to be a voice on here.
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When I was a child, I had the entire series of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Books. My babysitter at the time, gave me her set. I was careful to loan out the books one at a time to friends I knew would cherish them as much as I did.

I started giving these books to my grandchild, and at first we read them together, then she started reading them on her own. Now, we watch the old television series together, and it brings back memories of our days reading together. We both love the television series as much as we do the books, they portray the life as it was. Maybe not as primitive, but certainly as children , they accept the hard work and the limited income the Wilder's have. This family is a superb e ample if a hapoy family, their ups and downs, and they have many, and the manger in which the family faces each obstacle. An excellent example of a true family life.

Recommended. prisrob7-19-15
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on June 2, 2008
This cd made a 6+ hour ride home from vacation fly by. My 6 year old daughter asked if the trip home was about an hour and when I told her it was more than 6 hours she could not believe it. My 9 year old son, husband and I also enjoyed listening to every word. This is a great cd which will be used over and over in our home. The reader did a great job and it was a delight to listen to.
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