Book Review: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Posted October 21, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Genres: Autobiography, Historical, Non-fiction
Published by HarperTrophy on 1994
Pages: 335
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

Buy on Amazon
Illustrator: Garth Williams
Also by this author: Little House in the Big Woods, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek

Third (per Wilder) in the Little House historical biographical series for middle-grade readers that travels with the Ingalls family from Wisconsin to Indian Territory in Kansas.

My Take

Whoa, it’s definitely scarier living in Kansas…wait’ll you read Pa’s tale of that pack of wolves that surrounded him! Of course, Jack’s adventures are pretty scary too, as are the Ingalls family’s experiences with the Indians.

Wilder uses third person objective point-of-view that relates only what is seen or heard to tell us her tale of family life in the early 1870s on the desolate prairies of Kansas.

It’s a fascinating combination of building one’s house overnight with a neighbor’s help — and without “benefit” of building codes, lol; the simple wealth of building the furniture one needs; and, a primary perspective on settler-Indian interactions — and the hypocrisy which frames them — and ain’t it sad that it’s the children who see it?

And, we experience another Christmas with this one on the prairie.

The Story

Pa has decided to sell their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. He’s heard that there’s good farming land in Indian Territory!

The Characters

Pa (Charles) Ingalls has the wanderlust while his wife, Ma (Caroline), is the practical one. Mary, Laura, and baby Carrie are their children. Pet and Patty are the mustangs for which Pa traded their ponies. Bunny is Pet’s colt. They’re lucky that Jack, their protective brindle bulldog, is still with them.

Mr Edwards is a wildcat from Tennessee and their new, very helpful, neighbor. More neighbors soon include the Scotts. Pure luck brings Dr Tan, a black man, to help.

Soldat du Chène is an Osage Indian.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a country feel with that muted red and cream gingham check framing it on all four sides. An oval badge (intersecting with the border and the center graphic) in a deeper cream with a thin dark brown border provides the series information along with a log cabin graphic. The author’s name in dark brown is below this against the pale summer blue sky. The title is immediately below this in that muted red with a dark brown outline, set against the top of the Conestoga wagon in which Mary and Laura are peeking out the back with Ma and Pa behind them on the driver’s seat. Jack walks beneath the wagon. A round gold badge announces that this book is the 65th anniversary edition. Below Jack and the wagon wheels is the illustrator’s name in the dark brown.

The title finds the Ingalls have moved to another little house, this one is the Little House on the Prairie.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

    • Very much so. Wilder has definitely aimed her writing style at middle-grade readers, and yet she doesn’t talk down to them, which I do appreciate. Of course, I can always be, ahem, suckered into any story that is about self-sufficiency!

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