94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
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.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
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.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
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
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 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.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
In 1935, a book was published that would become an American classic. Laura Ingalls Wilder's LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE followed her pioneering family as they left the big woods of Wisconsin (the setting of the first installment in the beloved series) to claim land in Kansas. Though LITTLE HOUSE was the second book to share the adventures of the Ingalls family, it came to stand for the whole collection of books and later lent its name to the 1970s television series.
Now, on the 75th anniversary of the book's publication, its publisher has released a special edition featuring full-color illustrations by Garth Williams, whose characteristic black-and-white versions have given form to Laura and her family since the 1950s. While the text remains the same, the vibrant pictures and new hardback cover give the book a new dynamic look sure to capture the imagination of a new generation of young readers or inspire adults to re-read this favorite.
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, along with the other books in the series, is based roughly on Laura's childhood in what was then the American West. From Wisconsin to Kansas to Minnesota, Laura's father Charles moves the family in search of open spaces and the American Dream. Along the way they move far from family, meet new neighbors, come into contact with Native Americans, raise cattle, grow crops, explore the landscape, sing songs and exemplify the pioneering spirit of the late 1800s. In LITTLE HOUSE, Pa Ingalls builds a log cabin, digs a well, and more after having driven a covered wagon across the prairies. Laura is a wide-eyed and clever girl with a sense of adventure and a penchant for mischief. Her companions are her two sisters and faithful dog Jack.
From dangerous wolves to tender lullabies, the Ingalls family endures much to follow their dream of a patch of land and a solid house to call their own. Boys and girls will be thrilled by their trials and tribulations along the way.
Included in this edition are a short biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, photocopies of a couple of her letters and a telegram to Garth Williams, and more. But even without these features, the book is special because the story is special. Laura is a wonderful guide through a fascinating moment in American history characterized by optimism, symbolized by wide-open spaces, and challenged by the diversity of culture and ethnicity of America's changing landscape.
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE remains a fun and interesting book for readers of all ages, and the 75th Anniversary Edition is a wonderful way to celebrate this classic tale by one of America's best-loved writers.
--- Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2007
Cherry Jones' reading of Little House on the Prairie is lively, spirited, clear and articulate all at the same time. The best is when she sings along to Woodiel's fiddle. I was initially worried that the songs would sound ridiculous, but I was pleasantly surprised by how natural Jones' singing was, and how smoothly the fiddle entered the narration. I highly recommend this recording for any fan, or new reader who wants to hear a warm-hearted, relaxing bedtime story. For example, I listen to audiobooks when I'm experiencing particularly bad insomnia, which is NOT to say the books bore me to sleep; instead, I'm soothed to sleep.
Little House on the Prairie was my least favorite of the series, but listening to Jones breathed new life into this story for me. Even the long descriptions I used to find somewhat tedious, of how the house is built, well dug, etc., were suddenly fascinating. Hearing this work makes it somehow realer; you can't just pass over it the way you can in a book. It reminds me that Wilder grew up in a more oral tradition, and this recording proves how effective and how different orality is. Jones puts so much into her delivery that Wilder's crisp imagery really helps you visualize that labor and love Pa and Ma Ingalls put into their survival. Laura's spritely personality is also perfectly captured. Highly recommend!