I hesitated actually writing this review since I wasn't sure what I would even say. Little House in the Big Woods was everything I remembered it being, since I last read it, as a child. I have a hard time thinking of it any other way.
As a kid, I loved imagining being in any time, place, or world other than the one I was in. (Not that I didn't have a happy childhood.) My sister and I often pretended we lived on a farm, grinding "wheat" (wheat-ish looking weeds) with a stone and making "bread" (nicely-shaped rocks). Naturally, the Little House books were right up my alley. If only I lived in Laura Ingalls Wilder's time, and we could bake bread every week, make our own maple sugar, and be overjoyed to receive oranges and a rag doll for Christmas.
This time around, I was still thinking of the story the way my little-girl brain did. However, I was a little more uneasy about how romanticized the story was. The family laughs over their near-deadly experiences with bears. When Laura's cousin gets stung all over his body with bees and has to be bandaged from head to toe, the parents merely say, "well, he deserved it." Really? That sort of incident would merit a trip to the emergency room these days! Who cares how annoying the kid was?
And I was able to appreciate a little more how much more luxurious the American lifestyle is now. There are things from the book that I irrationally still wish I could have; I guess as people like to say, "It was a simpler time" (but honestly, I find it hard to believe that any time in human history was ever "simple"). But overall, the book reminded me to be grateful that I live in America today, and not back then.