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Little House on The Prairie

Review

Little House on The Prairie

In 1935, a book was published that would become an American classic. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE followed her pioneering family as they left the big woods of Wisconsin (the setting of the first installment in the beloved series) to claim land in Kansas. Though LITTLE HOUSE was the second book to share the adventures of the Ingalls family, it came to stand for the whole collection of books and later lent its name to the 1970s television series.
 
Now, on the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication, its publisher has released a special edition featuring full-color illustrations by Garth Williams, whose characteristic black-and-white versions have given form to Laura and her family since the 1950s. While the text remains the same, the vibrant pictures and new hardback cover give the book a new dynamic look sure to capture the imagination of a new generation of young readers or inspire adults to re-read this favorite.
 
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, along with the other books in the series, is based roughly on Laura’s childhood in what was then the American West. From Wisconsin to Kansas to Minnesota, Laura’s father Charles moves the family in search of open spaces and the American Dream. Along the way they move far from family, meet new neighbors, come into contact with Native Americans, raise cattle, grow crops, explore the landscape, sing songs and exemplify the pioneering spirit of the late 1800s. In LITTLE HOUSE, Pa Ingalls builds a log cabin, digs a well, and more after having driven a covered wagon across the prairies. Laura is a wide-eyed and clever girl with a sense of adventure and a penchant for mischief. Her companions are her two sisters and faithful dog Jack. 

From dangerous wolves to tender lullabies, the Ingalls family endures much to follow their dream of a patch of land and a solid house to call their own. Boys and girls will be thrilled by their trials and tribulations along the way.

Included in this edition are a short biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, photocopies of a couple of her letters and a telegram to Garth Williams, and more. But even without these features, the book is special because the story is special. Laura is a wonderful guide through a fascinating moment in American history characterized by optimism, symbolized by wide-open spaces, and challenged by the diversity of culture and ethnicity of America's changing landscape.

LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE remains a fun and interesting book for readers of all ages, and the 75th Anniversary Edition is a wonderful way to celebrate this classic tale by one of America's best-loved writers.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on September 28, 2010

Little House on The Prairie
(Little House #3)
by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • Publication Date: September 28, 2010
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061958271
  • ISBN-13: 9780061958274