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On the Banks of Plum Creek (The Little House on the Prairie) Paperback – 2 Nov 2009
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About the Author
Laura Ingalls Wilder Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in Wisconsin in 1867. Her family moved around, travelling from Missouri to Kansas, Minnesota and back to Wisconsin. Eventually the family settled in De Smet, Dakota Territory and Laura worked regularly as a seamstress and teacher. She stopped working when she married Almanzo Wilder in 1885. Little House in the Big Woods was first published in 1932, Little House on the Prairie in 1935, and five more books in the Little House series followed. Laura also wrote Farmer Boy about her husband’s childhood, and three more books were published posthumously. Laura was five times the recipient of the Newbery Honor Award for her distinguished contribution to American literature for children: On the Banks of Plum Creek (1938), By the Shores of Silver Lake (1940), The Long Winter (1941), Little Town on the Prairie (1942), These Happy Golden Years (1944). The books are charmingly illustrated with Garth Williams’ black and white drawings from the 1953 editions.
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Other aspects of the book too: Pa seemed to be a happy-cheery type no matter what disaster befell them, walking 300 miles to find paid work would have been hell but Pa just sings as he walks along...just does not seem real in my opinion. Ma comes across, to me, as a clingy-needy type of woman barely able to function unless Pa was around and an example of this is when she chose to keep her daughters out of school for long stretches of time when Pa was away in order to keep her company on the farm. A bit contradictory for a woman supposedly dedicated to having her daughters educated. Ma also never seems to do any washing although she would have done, but Laura does not tell the reader how she managed it, Ma just seems to clean the house more than anything else and pine for Pa to come back from one of his trips away.
If you're looking for loads of encounters between Laura and the infamous Nellie Olsen you will be disappointed as Nellie is only referred to a handful of times and even then only briefly. Nellie figures far more in the TV series than in the book. Her telling of the grasshopper plague was good to read and the girls and their mother being snowbound in the house during a freezing blizzard was compelling but for me these were the only highlights.
The style of writing is very simplistic, I would not say she was a 'great' writer but she did spawn a genre of books for children that are important as they are written from an eye-witness viewpoint. I feel these are books really only intended for children to read as children tend not to be so concerned with details but all the same I was looking for more real-life details of their everyday lives. Very much a child's book.
1. Do read it.
2. Read Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie first.
The Ingalls family (Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie) have left the prairie to start a new life somewhere else. Plum Creek. Pa befriends Mr Nelson and Mr Nelson helps Pa build a house. Laura and Mary are amazed at the bought wood and the bought shingles. They were even more amazed at the bought door with the bought lock and rhe bought key! There is a town close by and Laura and Mary can go to school. They meet new people and learn how to do new things. The Ingalls family experiences the highs (school, Church, Christmas and parties) and lows( Blizzards, grasshopper weather and illnesses) of living near a town. But can they live in such a busy place after rhe wild lands they have grown up in? Read and find out! Hope this helped.
This is a nice version with lovely pictures. I gave it four stars rather than five just because the cover is kind of 'laminated' in plastic and the copy I got was already peeling off in a couple of places when I received it. Suspect it wont age all that well over the years. Still a wonderful story to read though.
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