Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Book Review - Laura Ingalls Wilder's On the Banks of Plum Creek

On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 1937
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy

If you're a girl from Wisconsin there is one given, and that's you're a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It's in our DNA. It was sure in my DNA. I don't know if I remember a time before I knew about Laura and her family up in Pepin but that's all down to my mom. She didn't just love the stories she loved the illustrations. Garth Williams will forever be a favorite illustrator of our family inculcated from some of my very first picture books to my earliest chapter books; Three Bedtime Stories, Bedtime for Frances, Little Fur Family, The Cricket in Times Square, and of course, Charlotte's Web. But back to Laura. I think growing up on a dairy farm in Lone Rock made my mom see a lot of herself in Laura. But interestingly enough my mom's favorite book in the series wasn't when Laura and her family lived a typical pioneer life but when they lived an atypical one in a sod house on the banks of a creek. My mom would talk rapturously about living in this little hideaway made of dirt and grass. She loved the story about when Garth Williams was researching his illustrations for the reissue of the books that he went to Minnesota and found the indentation of where their house was. I think this was my mom's favorite in the series because it appeals to the very heart of what it is to be a child, making a home out of the nature around you and living a carefree life. Of course the life Laura lived in this book was far from carefree, but that house does spark in the imagination something primal, something fantastical, something straight out of childhood daydreams.


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