cover image Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder

William Anderson. HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-027243-2

Laura Ingalls Wilder's many fans will delight in this inviting biographical overview in a picture-book format, graced by Andreasen's dreamy landscapes, glowing prairie skies and warm character portraits. In clear, workmanlike prose, Wilder historian Anderson (The Little House Guidebook) begins with Laura's birth in 1867 in a log cabin in Wisconsin and chronicles her many childhood adventures (moving with her family by covered wagon to the Kansas prairie, later to a sod dugout at Plum Creek, Minn., and on to the Dakota territory) and continues with the hardships and uncertainties of homesteading, marriage, births and deaths, and of a writing career that blossomed when Wilder was in her 60s. Anderson tells of a life that was fascinating for its sheer span (from covered wagons to automobiles) and a woman admirable for her pluck and determination. Though younger readers will have to read Wilder's novels to fill in the details of her daily life, this broad-strokes approach serves well as an introduction or reference in a pleasing visual format (including oversized type)--one that early chapter-book readers will find inviting. Put this on the shelf right next to Little House in the Big Woods. Ages 7-up. (Feb.)