Little House in the Big Woods  - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams It's a shame I didn't read this first as a kid. I wish I could go back in time and kick my little girl self's ass for missing out on all these great children's book classics. I was surprised at how much I learned from this book. I knew pioneer life was hard but Laura Ingalls Wilder puts it all into perspective and gives a detailed account of everything she and her family had to do every day of each season to survive and live comfortably. I wish I had half the skills and knowledge Ma/Caroline had. I can barely make a grilled cheese sandwich without burning it, and the satchel I made for my Home Ec class in high school looked like a child fashioned it then let a wild animal maul it. Meanwhile Ma's making outfits and accessories for everyone and concocting cheese from milk and baby cow stomach and creating candy from maple syrup. Holy crap, lady.