BOOK REVIEW: The Deer in the Wood

The Deer in the Wood (Little House)

The typical image of the pioneer hunter is given a thoughtful reworking in The Deer in the Wood. The story begins with Pa of “Little House” fame announcing that he’s going to go hunting to provide deer meat for the family’s dinner table.

What happens next is unexpected, as a reviewer on the blog notes:

The great thing about this story is that Pa ends up seeing the deer differently on this hunting trip, and he finds he can no longer shoot them. His hunter’s mentality shifts to one of compassion for the animals he is admiring.

After hearing why their father has come home empty-handed, his young daughters are happy that Pa chose not to kill the deer. The little girls announce that they prefer bread and butter anyway.

The Vegbooks review continues:

This is a good book for vegetarian parents wanting to teach their child about having compassion for animals, and it presents a positive image in regard to boys/men not participating in hunting.

I would second that. Pa is shown as a strong and wise man, and his attributes are not diminished by his choice not to kill. The book would also make for a nice opportunity to discuss different vegetarian foods—besides bread and butter! The final page shows a touching picture of the doe and her fawn bedding down for the night.

(review originally appeared at


2 Comments (+add yours?)

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  2. Kyle
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