Little Author in the Big Woods: a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Henry Holt. 2014
This reviewer used an ARC supplied by the publisher.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, who began her writing career in her 60’s, based her Little House books on experiences she had as a child. Though Laura was true to actual events, there are things she decided not to include, such as the death of her baby brother. In Little Author in the Big Woods, McDonough describes more of the details of Laura’s real life, while pointing out the differences from the fictional series as well as the many similarities. She hopes that the reading experience will be deepened by knowing the facts that inspired these beloved stories.
Fans of the Little House series will enjoy learning more about Laura and her family in this narrative biography that extends beyond her marriage to Alonzo but into her writing career and her final years. Did you know that Laura was 87 years old when she took her first plane ride? Of her nine books, five would be award the prestigious Newbery Honor Medal? Thermes black & white illustrations, which pay homage to Garth Williams’ work, are placed throughout the text and convey a sense of joy and playfulness, elements found in Ingalls’ stories.
Back matter includes quotes from Laura, games Laura played, how to make a corn-husk doll, recipes, a glossary, and further reading.
Though there are other biographies about Laura Ingalls Wilder, this particular title, with the larger font and illustrations, will appeal to newly independent readers.