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Laura Ingalls Wilder Country: The People and Places in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Life and Books Paperback – December 1, 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Laura Ingalls Wilder created with her "Little House" books a world that won the hearts of millions of readers. Now, William Anderson takes us on an enchanting tour through the reality that inspired her stories - the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her pioneering family. Combining an enlightening narrative with historical family portraits and lavish photographs of such family treasures as Laura's writing desk, rocking chair, and china jewelry box, Pa's fiddle, and the family Bible, Laura Ingalls Wilder Country beautifully recaptures the extraordinary life of this beloved American family. From Pa, the natural storyteller, and Ma, the resourceful pioneer, to Laura's husband, Almanzo, the hero of her final five books, and their daughter, Rose, an award-winning writer, Laura's family provided the characters that peopled her books. With Leslie Kelly's beautiful color photographs, Anderson carefully details the interior and exterior of the Ingalls and Wilder homes - as well as the creek and the surrounding landscapes that played such a strong role in Laura's life. Richly detailed illustrations with an engaging historical narrative make Laura Ingalls Wilder Country the perfect companion to the "Little House" books.

About the Author

William Anderson is a poet and author of books on may subjects including Dante the Maker (1980), which won the International PEN Club Award "The Silver Pen." His other works include a book of poems, The Waking Dream (1983), and a life of the visionary artist Ceil Collins (1988). He writes for Parabola and lectures widely.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1100L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 119 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; Reprint edition (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060973463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060973469
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected a lot from this book, and I got even more than expected. Besides a lot of beautiful color photos, some two pages wide, there is a wealth of family photos. Not only pictures of Laura's immediate family, but the aunts and uncles, and even their Minnesota neighbors, the Nelsons. This book solves the mystery of what the China Shepherdess looks like as well as Laura's China Box. There is even a photo of Dr. Tan's grave. If you can't visit the places in Laura's books, this book will take you there, and also take you where you can no longer go with photos taken by Garth Williams and other photographers of places that no longer exist. There are even photos of paintings done by Harvey Dunn, Grace's husband, based on Laura's family and a painting done by Laura to explain to Grace what a tree looked like. You can see Pa's cottonwoods that survive today as well as the remnants of Almanzo's tree claim. And just as wonderful, the book fills in details not in Laura's books, so you can find out about her baby brother. The only thing lacking is a photo of Nellie Oleson. You won't be disappointed!
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By A Customer on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
A beautifully photographed book that gives the reader an idea of what the places in Wilder's books really looked like. These sights are what Laura was envisioning when she wrote her childhood memories.
My favorite picture is the wedding photo of Caroline and Charles Ingalls. Since they are always seen from Laura's perspective, it's easy to forget that they were once a young couple just starting out on their married life together, with no idea of what the future would bring. It was just a thought that occurred to me when I saw the picture. You just know they never expected that millions of people in the 20th century would fondly know of them as the Ma and Pa Ingalls.
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By A Customer on February 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wonderful glossy full spread pictures of the beautiful grasses and flowers. Makes you want to live on the prairie!!
I loved seeing the pictures of Laura and her family. I am sure my sisters are going to love this book too.
I also liked the extra tidbits of information. Even has quotes from some unpublished books written by Laura.
My review is not the best just wanted to give the book another 5 stars.
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Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from the library and read it cover to cover. There was a lot of good information about Laura and her family in the book. There were many pictures of all the places that she lived. I really felt like I understood her a lot better after reading this book. It also talks about how Garth Williams went to the places that she lived and saw them firsthand, to try and reconstruct memories of her childhood into the drawings in the Little House books. This is a great book for serious Laura Ingalls Wilder fans, who want to learn more about what happened to her and her family after the Little House series ended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after a visit to the little house on the prairie near DeSmet, South Dakota, in 1996. My mother had given me my first Laura Ingalls Wilder book many years ago. She had read them herself as they were published in her girlhood. I just loved them and it was a cherished dream come true to visit the little house on the great prairie.

Now my son is reading them to my granddaughter. I gave her the complete set for Christmas from Amazon--a good buy. My granddaughter just did a book report and diorama for her class and I was thrilled she loves the books too.

I took this book, 'Laura Ingalls Wilder Country', off the shelf and just re-read it. It is still as interesting and full of high-quality photographs as the first time I read it. How delighted I was to see that it is still being published. I am ordering it now for my granddaughter. I'm sure my son and daughter-in-law will enjoy it too. It really is a must-have for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans.

I will also give my granddaughter a leaf I picked from one of the trees Pa planted for his wife and daughters. I dried it and saved it in the pages of this book.

As for the reviewer's complaint about pictures of "grass", I can only say that nothing except perhaps the vastness and power of the mid-ocean can prepare you for the Great Plains.
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By helena joyce on December 23, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a nice book for those Laura Ingalls Wilder fans out there. My husband, son, and I read "Big House in the Little Woods" together before picking this up. It was nice to see photos from places in the book and connect history to the literature. Maybe someday we will take a long ride to see some of the museum sites firsthand. For now, what a wonderful supplement book for any fan.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful collection of pictures and historical information on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I would go as far as to say it is a must-have for any true Laura fan. The pictures of places, people and items from the books and beyond is amazing and well put together.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm only giving this three stars, because chances are if you're buying this, you're a big fan, and a quick google search will turn up most of the old black and white photos in this book. You know, Laura while she was teaching, Almanzo with and without a mustache, the Ingalls family grouping..

As for the modern landscape photographs, I'm sorry to say I didn't find them particularly evocative or moving... A person could find the equivalent on Google street view, or else in a prairie landscape photography book or something.

I did really like these parts of the book:
- in the front, there's a full-page picture of Pa's fiddle leaning up against a tree. Somehow very moving.
- the book follows the real chronology of Laura's life, and having the landscapes in order like that did add to the 'big picture' of her life in my head.
- it was nice seeing a picture of the real Plum creek

Overall, I think I'll flip through this book now and then. I'll definitely keep it. But it doesn't really have much new in it.
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