Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Title:  Little House in the Big Woods
Author:  Laura Ingalls Wilder
Pages:  238
Genre:  Fiction, YA
Source:  My bookshelf
What you'll love:  A wonderful illustration of the time period.
What will bug you:  Nothing.

PhotobucketGet ready for a barrage (hopefully... unless I get tied up here teaching summer camp!) of Laura Ingalls Wilder reviews.  I decided to read Little House in the Big Woods for the "Back to the Classics" challenge hosted by "Sarah Reads Too Much".  I decided that since I defeated this book in a few hours - and loved it - it would be worth it to just re-read the entire series.  I loved them as a kid, and these books are perfect for me right now because I'm teaching at a summer camp and I'm craving something I can just enjoy.

I have not read this book since I was a kid!  I remember my favorite part being the chapter "Winter Days", which is basically just a description of the day-to-day life of the Ingalls family.  I was, and still am, fascinated by simpler times.  This time around, I still enjoyed reading about how Ma churns the butter and adds a little carrot to make it a pretty yellow color, or how Ma does the mending by lamplight while Pa plays the fiddle for the girls at night.  I would love to visit the time period.  I'm not sure I'm meant to live there - I'm far too outspoken and my Grandmother often accuses me of being unladylike (usually when we're in traffic - but this lady has somewhere she wants to go!) - but I'd like to visit for awhile.  

It's amazing to me that families survived like this.  It occurred to me that the Ingalls spend most of their days doing things that are just necessary for basic survival.  Pa spends his days either hunting for food, trapping for food and/or furs to trade for food, or planting/harvesting for... you guessed it... food.  Ma and the girls take care of the house, cleaning and cooking, preserving.  It makes you think of how much we take for granted - if I want clean clothes, they're only an hour and a half away, and I don't have to actually wash anything!  I just put it in a machine.  I can cook anything I want, anytime I want - in the dead of winter, the culinary world is my oyster.  I wouldn't have had to think months ahead and preserve meat, vegetables, etc. to get me through a winter.  So much was focused on survival, and it's amazing to think of how far technology has taken us.  

A great start on a fun series re-read!  Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah!!


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