The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books

A must-read companion to the Little House books

2017 is the 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday. Her beloved Little House series tells a classic coming-of-age story based on Wilder’s own family life and is a reflection of the pioneer spirit of the time. They are also deeply rooted in the natural world. The plants, animals, and landscapes are so integral to the stories, they are practically their own characters.

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by New York Times bestselling author Marta McDowell, explores Wilder’s deep relationship to the landscape. Follow the wagon trail of the series, starting in the Wisconsin setting of Little House in the Big Woods to the Dakotas and finally to Missouri. Throughout, you’ll learn details about Wilder’s life and inspirations, discover how to visit the real places today, and even learn to grow the plants and vegetables featured in the stories.

The artful package includes original illustrations by Helen Sewell and Garth Williams, along with historical and contemporary photographs. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a must-have treasure for the millions of readers enchanted by Laura’s wild and beautiful life.

Any fan, anyone who grew up with Laura Ingalls Wilder shaping their lives through her books and/or the TV Show based on her life will want an opportunity to read and explore this book. It’s a heartfelt and beautiful rendering of that strong, pioneer woman; a true dedication to her memory and the impact she’s had on multiple generations.

Marta McDowell included some great illustrations to accompany her carefully research text that will have you journeying down memory lane as if these stories were your own. It’s the kind of thing you keep out for guests to notice and peruse so they too can enjoy the emotional impact of a cherished treasure.

I knew she had moved a bit but until I saw this book I had no idea she moved this many times and across so much of the country.

I think it’s one of those books that will appeal to people who are into historical and or genealogical kind of studies as there is a great deal of info on plants, terrain, farming, architecture of the time, and so forth. If someone was going to pick this up thinking it’s just like the previous fictional books released by her and others they may be disappointed. I didn’t notice any new information so much as just a lot of info that had previously been spread across multiple works which focused on specific subjects of the time, people and obviously Laura’s family so this book is more of a one stop place to research.

Thank you to Netgalley and Timber Press for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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