Little House in the Big Woods (Little House Series: Classic Stories #1)

Little House in the Big Woods (Little House Series: Classic Stories #1)

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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Meet Laura Ingalls...the little girl who would grow up to write the Little House books. Wolves and panthers and bears roamed the deep Wisconsin woods in the 1870's. In those same woods, Laura Ingalls lived with her Pa and Ma, and her sisters Mary and baby Carrie, in a snug little house built of logs. Pa hunted and trapped. Ma made her own cheese and maple syrup. All night long, the wind howled lonesomely, but Pa played his fiddle and sang, keeping the family safe and cozy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060543983
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/27/2003
Series: Little House Series
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 2
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867–1957) was born in a log cabin in the Wisconsin woods. With her family, she pioneered throughout America’s heartland during the 1870s and 1880s, finally settling in Dakota Territory. She married Almanzo Wilder in 1885; their only daughter, Rose, was born the following year. The Wilders moved to Rocky Ridge Farm at Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894, where they established a permanent home. After years of farming, Laura wrote the first of her beloved Little House books in 1932. The nine Little House books are international classics. Her writings live on into the twenty-first century as America’s quintessential pioneer story.

Garth Williams is the renowned illustrator of almost one hundred books for children, including the beloved Stuart Little by E. B. White, Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban, and the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

He was born in 1912 in New York City but raised in England. He founded an art school near London and served with the British Red Cross Civilian Defense during World War II. Williams worked as a portrait sculptor, art director, and magazine artist before doing his first book Stuart Little, thus beginning a long and lustrous career illustrating some of the best known children's books.

In addition to illustrating works by White and Wilder, he also illustrated George Selden’s The Cricket in Times Square and its sequels (Farrar Straus Giroux). He created the character and pictures for the first book in the Frances series by Russell Hoban (HarperCollins) and the first books in the Miss Bianca series by Margery Sharp (Little, Brown). He collaborated with Margaret Wise Brown on her Little Golden Books titles Home for a Bunny and Little Fur Family, among others, and with Jack Prelutsky on two poetry collections published by Greenwillow: Ride a Purple Pelican and Beneath a Blue Umbrella. He also wrote and illustrated seven books on his own, including Baby Farm Animals (Little Golden Books) and The Rabbits’ Wedding (HarperCollins).

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1867

Date of Death:

February 10, 1957

Place of Birth:

Pepin, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Mansfield, Missouri

Read an Excerpt

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.

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Little House in the Big Woods 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 129 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 3rd grade I had this complete series read to me. Now I am sharing it with my girls during Lit. lessons as we homeschool. I am so glad they are loving the story. My 7 year old has been reading it on her own and I read it to them for about 15 minutes so that my 6 year old gets the story also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is a sure joy to any child that loves to read and brings a warmth that is very hard to capture in many other stories. As i read, the book seemed as if it was glue in my hands. To stop reading was extremly difficult. The detail in the story makes you feel as If your there with the Ingalls Family. Word by word, step by step, if you were to travel back this book would be able to tell you how to preform everyday tasks as if someone was there with you. The story line alone was very entertaining and original. I highly recommand this book to young girls because the story will certianly amaze them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Get this - I read this book after my mom read it after her mom told her of her grandma's life on the fronteer in the west. This is a book that all children should read of the way America once was when there was something new to discover over every hill and mountain, as well as in every forest and in every field.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like the pioneers, you should check out this book! It gets you going and once you're done with the book, you're ready to start the next book! CAUTION: DON'T READ THE OTHER BOOKS BEFORE YOU READ THIS ONE, OR ELSE THE STORY WILL BE SPOILED FOR YOU!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 8 year old loved it. I would recommed it because it tells Wilders life and if you like history you will like this book.
Sam_Plus_Ten More than 1 year ago
Hi. My name is Sam and I'm six. I like this book because it teaches us things that are good and that are bad so we don't do them. There are a few characters who cause trouble and I learn about life in a cabin. At night, Jack Frost creeps through and blows frost on the pictures at Christmas. You need to use all of the manners you have when you go to town. I listen to it at night and it helps me go to sleep. When we were traveling, I listened to it in the car and I like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi! My name ia Alaina Michele Royston. Thank you for all your books that you have the last like thousand years. You are the best author on earth. I have a question for you, how in the world do you ever make those books? I would love to here back as soon as poseble if that's ok with you. I'm only eight years old so I don't know how to spell all words. I forgot to ask how are you doing today? I Love Love Love all of your books. I would love if you were able to make many many more of your very very amazing books. My mom also loves loves loves your books. It is so amazing that you are proceeding all of your dreams, by becomingbook artist. Your first book is the best of all of your books.
EllieGiles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first in a series of "Little House" books, this book introduces us to the captivating life of the Ingalls family. Written by Laura herself, this is one of many books that lets the reader peer into the adventure-filled and faith-filled life of a frontier family.
catz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was good but it started off a little bit slowly.
AnnieHidalgo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The older I get, the more it seems to me that Laura Ingalls Wilder's books are a perfect example of how different life can seem from a child's perspective to that of an adult. I've always thought they were kind of an idealized example of the perfect childhood - simple, close to nature, structured yet still fun. And yet, how frustrated Ma must have been - she moves into the wilderness, when it seems like family and civilization are very important to her. They live in tiny cabins, in danger from bears and other wild animals...have a dirt floor at one point...her husband is the type of man who goes off to shoot some meat for the starving family, then avoids taking the shot at the last minute because he admired the wildlife and was too busy watching it... but the family does seem happy, despite this. More than anything, I guess, Wilder's books are an object lesson in the truism that life is what you make of it.
skraftdesigns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this as a child, given to me by my fore-thinking parents right before the TV series premiered. (I'm that old.) I loved the book (and eventually the show), and quickly devoured the whole book series. I think the idea of isolation appealed to me, having myself grown up in the city. I loved that they had to make most everything, and when they did go into town it was a big big deal. I especially loved the description of their stores of food that they'd grown. Their relations with the Native American people of the area throughout the series didn't make much of an impression as a child, but I sure saw it in a whole new light when I reread the books as an adult. This book had inspired many a little house fantasy for playtime.
momma2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was an enjoyable read however, at times, we felt like it was more an instruction manual than a story. I remember really enjoying this series as a child and so far the kids like it but I am hoping that as the series progresses we get more character development and less instruction on smoking venison.
skeeterbo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked it because the dad hunts, hunts, hunts some more! It was cool you could make a balloon out of something from a pig.
gillis.sarah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite, but not my least favorite. It's up there in the list, though.
marinty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The whole 9 books in the Series of Little House is great. Laura Ingalls Wilder drew bold sweeping pictures of her pioneer life. This particular the Big Woods...was the first I ever read and didn't even know other one's existed until the 4th grade. Then I felt so excited about the series, but being a poor Irish-American girl and with the schools having such poor library service where I lived, I never really got to read every Little House book. But now if I see them at Thrift stores, I'll quickly snatch them up. They're wonderful and authentic pioneer stories of the Wild West in the USA and, as such, they're a wonderful collection to own.
seoulful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is my pleasure to begin this series for the third time with another grandchild. This first story of the Ingalls family, living in the woods of Wisconsin, starts a saga of pioneer life in the late 1860s. There are wonderful descriptions of life on the farm accompanied by Garth Williams illustrations showing, for present day audiences, the old procedures for activities such as making maple syrup, greasing traps or threshing wheat. The Ingalls family is an example in showing the hard work, discipline and skills that were necessary to survive the rigors of isolated country life. A memoir of Laura Ingalls, this true-life story is probably the best-loved and most popular pioneer story for young adults.
cacv78 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. (1932) Little House in the Big Woods. Illustrated by Garth Williams. New York, NY : Scholastic.This is the story of a little girl named Laura and her family: Ma, Pa, older sister Mary and baby sister Carrie. They live in the deeps woods of Wisconsin in the 1870's. They all worked in order to have food on the table and the everyday things they needed. This first book in the series follows the family through a year in their life and the obstacles the face just to live especially during the harsh winter months. The thing that impressed me as a reader was how detailed this book was when describing the everyday things that the family does. For example, it described exactly what they did when the family collected meat to be stored for the upcoming winter. The salted and smoked the meat and it gave very explicit details as to how to do that. Although this book was very interesting, as a student reading this I think it would be boring and I would be reluctant to teach it.Another book in the same decade: Travers, P.L. (1934) Mary Poppins. Illustrated by Mary Shepard. New York: Harcourt Brace.
mygirljennifer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Little House in the Big Woods is of course the beginning book of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have read them all now, except Farmer Boy (wasn't about her life anyway). There are also a couple of side excursion books, Mary Ingalls On Her Own, and Old Town In The Green Groves. Both add the to Little House experience nicely. Little house In The Big Woods starts off written for pretty young readers. Probably good for a 6 year old. But, as the series progresses the writing matures in the process. While I find the writing style just alright at best, after all they are written as children's books, the books have a far greater value. The are written by someone who grew up in the 1870's and in the pioneer fashion. I took a couple of month break after reading Little House on the Prairie, but the front cover of On The Banks Of Plum Creek kept calling me. Now that I am finished, I keep thinking about reading them all over again.
tiburon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This classic contains a heartwarming story about a close knit family who live off of the land in Wisconsin in the 19th century.
gaillamontagne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of Laura Ingalls and her family who lived their pioneer lives in the big woods of Wisconsin.The story is told from Laura's eyes although it is written in third person. Heartwarming and full of the details of everyday life for a family in the 1860's. I listened to this story on tape narrated by Cherry Jones. (3 cassettes, 3 1/2 hours. )
elliotmccarthy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm going to talk about this book. When I read it, it was exciting. The best part was when Laura got the doll for Christmas. I also liked the part where they went to Grandma's house. It sounded really good when Laura and her family made maple sugar treats. --elliotmccarthy, age 5
jgbyers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laura Ingalls's story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack. She grows to find that Pioneer life is hard. The family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. They finally make it through winter due to their hard work and family bonding. Laura loves falling asleep every night listening to her Pa play the fiddle.
MesserPicks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has been years (like 15) since I read Little House on the Prairie. This was a fantastic read. I love how historical it is. It is so interesting to read about like back in these times. It definately made me appreciate my life now and how far the times have come! I think kids would really enjoy these books and being able to read what it was like so long ago. I hope that these books are still popular even though they are so old!
dgadkins88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book ever!!T his book is actually about a young girl named Laura Ingalls Wilder, who lives with her small family in Wisconsin. It is filled with love and adventure as they survive in the Big Woods. The Little House in the Big Woods takes us back to what the meaning of Christmas is about and what is really important. The family gets together and make a Christmas celebration that everyone looks forward to year after year. The children receive candy and sugar as treats, not everyday fare. Children are taught to respect their elders, respect family tradition and to follow rules. Yet, the parents in this story listen to their children and talk to them as well. The family works together and plays together and it is a very strong family. This is the time without electricity, or indoor plumbing. The family works together to prepare food for the winter and in this story Laura Ingalls Wilder makes onions stored in the attic sound like the best food in the world! The children make snow angels at Christmas just like we did when we were little! Pa plays his fiddle for the family and the family dances and sings together!