Parents' Guide to

Little House in the Big Woods

By Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Beloved classic follows a frontier family for four seasons.

Little House in the Big Woods Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 5+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 5+

“Little House” has caused 5-year-old girl to understand the magic of books

This is the first time my granddaughter has begged to read more a book without pictures on every page. She fidgets and sometimes stands on her head but when I asked her to explain what I just read, she can always tell me I great detail. I searched for educational age-appropriate resources for kindergarten homeschool (necessitated by pandemic). “Little House” enhances our school day with interesting stories, U.S. history and social studies. It provides a platform to discuss racism, gender roles and the treatment of indigenous people. I edit as I read, omitting the word “darky” in a song and skipping some gory details of meat preparation. I plan to balance “Little House” with age-appropriate books written from viewpoints of children of slaves and native Americans. Any recommendations of such books will be appreciated.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (18 ):

This charming classic gives readers a vivid idea of frontier life and stresses the value of working together as a family. The theme that runs throughout Little House in the Big Woods is that life is hard and serious work, but that it's OK to have fun at times and important to keep a twinkle in your eye. There's much about young Laura's life that readers will find foreign: that children should be seen and not heard, that one small rag doll is the best Christmas gift ever, that hot potatoes in pockets and irons from the fire are the way to be warm when heading home from your cousins' house.

This installment is gentler than the rest of the Little House books, and the sexist and racist ideas that pop up throughout the series are mostly absent here. Children do get whipped twice, and there's a huge emphasis on children being obedient, but in Little House, it's wrapped in kindness.

Book Details

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