by Abby Horton
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, originally written in 1932, is a children’s fiction novel reflecting on the author’s life beginning in 1871. We as readers get introduced to the author’s 4-year-old self who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She lives with her Pa, Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie and of course, their lovable dog, Jack. However, life in the big woods isn’t easy for the Ingalls family. They make the best of what they have. From fashioning homemade toys and treats for Christmas, doing their spring planting, harvesting in the fall and preparing for the harsh winter to come, nothing comes easy for the family..
Little House in the Big Woods is the essential introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. In some ways, life seemed so much easier back then, no distractions like electronics and the hustle of the roaring city outside. Hard work was necessary and valuable for life and there was nothing much you could do. Children had chores and responsibilities that added to the survival for the whole family. I think that the image that Wilder was trying to portray in this book was not only reflecting on her life as the world knew it, but also showing a glimmer of that secret life that wasn’t very well documented. It’s very easy to compare everything in this book to our lives now and how we do things differently.
Overall, I think that this was a wonderful book, and I deeply enjoyed the story and have plans to finish the entire series. I admire the themes of love and kindness shown throughout the Ingalls family, and I believe that is something truly special. Times when everything was slow and the children were falling asleep to the faint hum of Pa’s Fidel were my favorites.
I would highly recommend this book for every audience. This book is truly a book that you need to read at least once in your lifetime, but I would especially recommend this book to children.