- County Fair (1997) – contains stories from Farmer Boy
- Christmas in the Big Woods (1995) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- Dance at Grandpa’s (1994) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- The Deer in the Wood (1995) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- A Farmer Boy Birthday (1998) – contains stories from Farmer Boy
- Going to Town (1995) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- Going West (1996) – contains stories from Little House on the Prairie
- A Little House Birthday (1997) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- A Little Prairie House (1999) – contains stories from Little House on the Prairie
- Prairie Day (1997) – contains stories from Little House on the Prairie
- Sugar Snow (1998) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- Summertime in the Big Woods (1996) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- Winter Days in the Big Woods (1994) – contains stories from Little House in the Big Woods
- Winter on the Farm (1996) – contains stories from Farmer Boy
- Winter Tales (1994) – (a compilation of Winter Days in the Big Woods, Christmas in the Big Woods, and Dance Grandpa’s)
Ironically, Watching Little House
Traditionally, if we read a book that has been adapted into a quality film, we follow the reading with a movie night, but, sadly, no one has made a film adaptation of Little House in the Big Woods. We’ll have to wait until we read Little House on the Prairie to watch a film. (I realize the irony of watching a family struggle on the prairie while we sit on the couch and eat popcorn.) I think when that time arrives we will opt to show the 2005 mini series to the boys. As much as my own mother loved Michael Landon and my sister grew up watching the 1970s TV series, the book lover in me prefers a more faithful adaptation.
Not Just for Girls
If you are familiar with my family or this blog, you already know that we are a family full of boys. Dear Husband and I have three sons, to be exact, so you may be surprised that we enjoyed Little House in the Big Woods so much.
I have heard some families lament that they could not connect well with the Little House series for various reasons, such as lengthy descriptive language, dated racist language or motives (Ma Ingalls is very afraid of “Indians”), or incidents of animal cruelty (hunting). These are common obstacles to be overcome in many books. But, one reason I hear frequently is that the narrator (Laura) is a girl. I would like to take this time to encourage families containing several boys that this series is more than what it appears. Literally, judging these books by their covers (prominently featuring girls) would be a mistake. Yes, Laura is the narrator of the books, but she is not particularly overtly feminine. In addition to being a tom boy, Laura greatly admires both of her parents, and Pa Ingalls is very much a main character in every book.
As a boy-mom, I know sometimes it can be a struggle to get my sons excited to read “a book about a girl,” but if you’re in the same boat I challenge you to give it a shot and employ whatever methods of diversion you need to sneak past the fact that these are often labeled “girl books.” This series describing frontier life is too important and too well written to be missed. My boys lovingly referred to “Big Woods” as “The Adventures of Pa in the Big Woods.” I conveniently did not show them the book cover or take them to a prairie dress pageant. 😉
I hope you’ll join us on our Little House Journey. I can’t promise that we will speed through the books (because we have other books on our hit list), but I do plan to blog about our experiences.
Until next week (or so).
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (family read aloud)
- Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (AO free read with L6)
- Different: The Story of an Outside-the-Box Kid and the Mom Who Loved Him by Sally Clarckson and Nathan Clarkson
Moderately challenging books:
- The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (for my co-op class)
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (for my co-op class)
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (reading with CiRCE Institute’s Close Reads podcast)
- Mind to Mind: An Essay Towards a Philosophy of Education by Karen Glass
- For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay in conjunction with Brandy Vencel’s Start Here study (for my CM study group)