Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Gorgeous illustrations, nice introduction to the series for younger children
on August 18, 2010
This short children's picture book adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods perfectly captures the feel of a summer day for a little girl living rurally in the mid-1800s. The text would be appropriate for a child to read on their own at a 3rd or 4th grade level. It's a smooth read aloud to those of younger ages.
We read about and see Laura and Mary playing with friends (including tree climbing), visiting a neighbor and getting cookies, helping with the dishes, etc. So, there is a sense in which the reader is struck by similarities with the modern child. But, of course, we also are struck by the differences as they eat honey Pa has gathered and watch Ma make cheese, and of course, dress differently. These similarities and differences juxtaposed together are captivating.
The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and just the style I prefer. They are very rich and vibrant and imbue an idyllic charm to Laura's summer day in the Big Woods. However, I do have a bit of a complaint, in that I wish they had been just a bit more realistic. For one thing, Laura and Mary sport haircuts that are about halfway between chin and shoulder. Their hair would have been longer, as it would have been uncut. Also, they sport short-sleeved dresses, and I know adult women would wear long-sleeves even in summer, but there is a chance that didn't apply to children. Still, in the grand scheme of things, these are relatively minor complaints.
My three girls, ages 7, 5, and 3, enjoyed reading this book, and the older two have flipped through it quite a bit on their own. Of course, they've already heard many of the Little House books as I've read them aloud, but they still enjoy these short stories and the illustrations. I would definitely recommend this book to those with children in the 3-8 year-old range, especially girls. I will be looking into other titles in this series.