Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder

William Anderson
Illustrator:  Dan Andreasen 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
HarperCollins, 1998   ISBN: 978-0060272432

It was the late 1800’s and a time of great change and promise. America was still full of open and wild places and many families were on the move. One of these families was the Ingalls family. There was Ma, Pa, Mary, and Laura and they left their little log cabin home in the woods of Wisconsin to go to the prairie in Kansas. After only a year they had to leave their little house and move on.

So it was to be the way of things over the next few years. Moving on, again and again. There was the little dugout home along Plum Creek near the little town of Walnut Grove in Minnesota. Then there was the house that Pa built of sawn lumber. Then the grasshoppers came and life became very hard. The Ingalls had to leave Walnut Grove and go to work in a hotel in Burr Oak Iowa. No one in the family really cared for town life in Iowa and it was a relief to return to Walnut Grove once more. After that Pa got a job working for the railroad and went west taking the covered wagon. Laura, Ma and the rest of the family had to follow him by train. Near where they stopped and got out grew the township of De Smet and the final hometown of the Ingalls family. Laura grew up there but her adventures were far from over.

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, William Anderson tells the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder in a simple yet complete narrative. Readers are able to follow her life story from her earliest years in the Wisconsin woods to her very last ones in her beloved Ozarks in Missouri. Perfect for reading aloud and illustrated with soft, very detailed and warm paintings, this is a wonderful book for newcomers to the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder.