Cover image for Little house in the big woods
Title:
Little house in the big woods
Author:
Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957.
Edition:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1981?]

©1953
Physical Description:
238 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father's stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.
General Note:
Reprint. Revised ed. originally published New York : Harper & Row, 1953.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
930 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.3 5.0 179.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.2 8 Quiz: 06946 Guided reading level: Q.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060264307

9780060264314
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Clarence Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Alden Ewell Free Library J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Based on the real-life adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House in the Big Woods is the first book in the award-winning Little House series, which has captivated generations of readers. This edition features the classic black-and-white artwork from Garth Williams.

Little House in the Big Woods takes place in 1871 and introduces us to four-year-old Laura, who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She shares the cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their lovable dog, Jack.

Pioneer life isn't easy for the Ingalls family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But they make the best of every tough situation. They celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do their spring planting, bring in the harvest in the fall, and make their first trip into town. And every night, safe and warm in their little house, the sound of Pa's fiddle lulls Laura and her sisters into sleep.

The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura's real childhood as an American pioneer, and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier, and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.


Author Notes

Wilder was born near Pepin, Wisconsin; attended school in DeSmet, South Dakota; and became a teacher before she was 16, teaching for seven years in Dakota Territory schools. She and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, farmed near DeSmet for about nine years and then moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they lived out the rest of their days.

Wilder did not write her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, about her early years in Wisconsin, until late in life, on the urging of her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. It was first published in 1932. She followed this with Farmer Boy (1933), a book about her husband's childhood in New York State. She then completed a series of books about her life as she and her family moved westward along the frontier. Little House on the Prairie (1935) records the family's move to Kansas. On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937) describes the family's move to Minnesota. By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939) records the family's move to South Dakota, as do the final three books in the series: The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie (1941), and These Happy Golden Years (1943), which ends with her marriage to Almanzo Wilder. Three of Wilder's books were published posthumously: On the Way Home, a diary of her trip to Mansfield; The First Four Years, an unfinished book about her first four years of marriage; and West from Home, letters she wrote on a visit to her daughter in San Francisco, none of them up to the quality of her earlier books.

At her best, Wilder employs a clear, simple style, a wealth of fascinating detail, and a straightforward narrative style. Her tales of a strong, traditional frontier family that endures the hardships of the late eighteenth century are seen through the eyes of a child, which endears them to young readers. Her work is possibly the best example of historical realistic fiction for children.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wilder's classic autobiographical series about growing up in a pioneer family in the late 1800s makes its audio debut in the very capable hands of stage actress Cherry Jones. This first installment introduces the Ingalls family living in the seemingly endless wild woods of Wisconsin prior to their eventual move west (to Kansas and later Missouri). Tennessee-born Jones brings a subtle (never hokey) homespun sound and comfortable pace to her reading; listeners may well imagine gathering in front of the fireplace or around a campfire for one of her storytelling sessions. But what Jones does best here is use her voice to sustain an appropriate childlike point of view. Her performance invites listeners to join in Laura's adventures and see things as she does, even though the books are written in the third person. (With this approach, for example, Jones livens up the occasional descriptive passages that can be slow going for some readers of the novel.) Award-winning fiddler Paul Woodiel provides lively interludes of "Pa's fiddle music," a joyful sound that was purportedly a staple of the Ingalls home. Ages 8-up. (May) FYI: Wilder's Little House on the Prairie and On the Banks of Plum Creek are being simultaneously released on cassette and CD, also read by Jones. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Laura Ingalls Wilder fans will rejoice at the fine presentation of her novels in audio format. Cherry Jones brings to life Pa, Ma, Laura, and all the other characters. Performed at the right tempo for the intended audience, Jones changes her voice just enough for each character so they can easily be distinguished. Singing period songs as Pa, exclaiming with delight over some new discovery as Laura, or gently scolding as Ma, Jones keeps listeners entranced. Pa's fiddle music, performed by Paul Woodiel, enhances the presentation. As with the print versions, putting the books' content into the context of events which happened over 100 years ago will help intermediate students understand why a song about "darkeys" would be included (Little House in the Big Woods), and why certain attitudes toward minorities, particularly Native Americans, are acceptable to the characters in the books.-.Judy Czarnecki, Chippewa River District Library System, Mt. Pleasant, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Little House in the Big Woods Chapter One Little House In The Big Woods 0nce upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs. The great, dark trees of the Big Woods stood all around the house, and beyond them were other trees and beyond them were more trees. As far as a man could go to the north in a day, or a week, or a whole month, there was nothing but woods. There were no houses. There were no roads. There were no people. There were only trees and the wild animals who had their homes among them. Wolves lived in the Big Woods, and bears, and huge wild cats. Muskrats and mink and otter lived by the streams. Foxes had dens in the hills and deer roamed everywhere. To the east of the little log house, and to the west, there were miles upon miles of trees, and only a few little log houses scattered far apart in the edge of the Big Woods. So far as the little girl could see, there was only the one little house where she lived with her father and mother, her sister Mary and baby sister Carrie. A wagon track ran before the house, turning and twisting out of sight in the woods where the wild animals lived, but the little girl did not know where it went, nor what might be at the end of it. The little girl was named Laura and she called her father, Pa, and her mother, Ma. In those days and in that place, children did not say Father and Mother, nor Mamma and Papa, as they do now. At night, when Laura lay awake in the trundle bed, she listened and could not hear anything at all but the sound of the trees whispering together. Sometimes, far away in the night, a wolf howled. Then he came nearer, and howled again. It was a scary sound. Laura knew that wolves would eat little girls. But she was safe inside the solid log walls. Her father's gun hung over the door and good old Jack, the brindle bulldog, lay on guard before it. Her father would say: "Go to sleep, Laura. Jack won't let the wolves in." So Laura snuggled under the covers of the trundle bed, close beside Mary, and went to sleep. One night her father picked her up out of bed and carried her to the window so that she might see the wolves. There were two of them sitting in front of the house. They looked like shaggy dogs. They pointed their noses at the big, bright moon, and howled. Jack paced up and down before the door, growling. The hair stood up along his back and he showed his sharp, fierce teeth to the wolves. They howled, but they could not get in. The house was a comfortable house. Upstairs there was a large attic, pleasant to play in when the rain drummed on the roof Downstairs was the small bedroom, and the big room. The bedroom had a window that closed with a wooden shutter. The big room had two windows with glass in the panes, and it had two doors, a front door and a back door. All around the house was a crooked rail fence, to keep the bears and the deer away. In the yard in front of the house were two beautiful big oak trees. Every morning as soon as she was awake Laura ran to look out of the window, and one morning she saw in each of the big trees a dead deer hanging from a branch. Pa had shot the deer the day before and Laura had been asleep when he brought them home at night and hung them high in the trees so the wolves could not get the meat. That day Pa and Ma and Laura and Mary had fresh venison for dinner. It was so good that Laura wished they could eat it all. But most of the meat must be salted and smoked and packed away to be eaten in the winter. For winter was coming. The days were shorter, and frost crawled up the window panes at night. Soon the snow would come. Then the log house would be almost buried in snowdrifts, and the lake and the streams would freeze. In the bitter cold weather Pa could not be sure of finding any wild game to shoot for meat. The bears would be hidden away in their dens where they slept soundly all winter long. The squirrels would be curled in their nests in hollow trees, with their furry tails wrapped snugly around their noses. The deer and the rabbits would be shy and swift. Even if Pa could get a deer, it would be poor and thin, not fat and plump as deer are in the fall. Pa might hunt alone all day in the bitter cold, in the Big Woods covered with snow, and come home at night with nothing for Ma and Mary and Laura to eat. So as much food as possible must be stored away in the little house before winter came. Pa skinned the deer carefully and salted and stretched the hides, for he would make soft leather of them. Then he cut up the meat, and sprinkled salt over the pieces as he laid them on a board. Standing on end in the yard was a tall length cut from the trunk of a big hollow tree. Pa had driven nails inside as far as he could reach from each end. Then he stood it up, put a little roof over the top, and cut a little door on one side near the bottom. On the piece that he cut out he fastened leather hinges; then he fitted it into place, and that was the little door, with the bark still on it. After the deer meat had been salted several days, Pa cut a hole near the end of each piece and put a string through it. Laura watched him do this , and then she watched him hang the meat on the nails in the hollow log. Little House in the Big Woods . Copyright © by Laura Wilder. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Little House in the Big Woodsp. 1
Winter Days and Winter Nightsp. 24
The Long Riflep. 45
Christmasp. 59
Sundaysp. 83
Two Big Bearsp. 101
The Sugar Snowp. 117
Dance at Grandpa'sp. 131
Going to Townp. 156
Summertimep. 177
Harvestp. 199
The Wonderful Machinep. 212
The Deer in the Woodp. 229

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