Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books by Marta McDowell

Synopsis: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House series is a classic coming-of-age story based on Wilder’s own family and the pioneer spirit of the time. Deeply rooted in the natural world, Wilder describes the plants, animals, and landscapes in such detail, 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 with the landscape. Follow the Wilder’s wagon trail starting in the Wisconsin setting of Little House in the Big Woods, through the Dakotas, and finally to Missouri. 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 series. The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a must-have treasure celebrating the American landscape through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beautiful and wild life with original illustrations by Helen Sewell and Garth Williams and lush historical and contemporary photographs. (from the online description)

Review: With simple prose and lovely pictures, author Marta McDowell takes the reader through the ecology, botany, and agriculture that formed the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. From the sloughs of South Dakota to the apple orchard of Missouri, McDowell shows us the world Laura saw and loved. Laura loved farm life – planting, growing, raising chickens, harvest. She found great beauty and peace in the slow cycle of seasons. McDowell does an excellent job of comparing Laura’s real life to her books, and showing the reader where real life made the books richer and fuller. She also focuses heavily on the farm Laura and Almanzo create in the Ozarks, and uses detailed record kept by the Wilder’s to demonstrate their love of the earth and all growing things.
As a want-to-be Gardener and an avid Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, I found this book a delightful read. It intrigued me to read about her life, her garden, her farm, and the things she loved – what flowers and plants and vegetables she grew. I highly recommend as a must for any Wilder-lovers library and an enjoyable read for any historical gardener. 

Bookmarks: 4 of 5

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-60469-727-8
Year Published: 2017
Date Finished: 6-18-2017
Pages: 376

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