June 7, 2018

Little House Locations

We know Laura Ingalls Wilder moved throughout her childhood. Her family finally settled in Dakota Territory. That's also where she met and married Almanzo Wilder, though they didn't stay in De Smet.

So where do the Little House books take place? Below are the names of the books, the name of the current town and state, and a link to the museum site you can visit at each Little House site.

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

Little House in the Big Woods: Pepin, Wisconsin. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
Farmer Boy: Malone, New York. Wilder Homestead.
Little House on the Prairie: Independence, Kansas. Little House on the Prairie Museum.
On the Banks of Plum Creek: Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
By the Shores of Silver Lake: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
The Long Winter: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
Little Town on the Prairie: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
These Happy Golden Years: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.
The First Four Years: De Smet, South Dakota. Ingalls Homestead and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society.



Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote all of the Little House books in Mansfield, Missouri. You can visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum there. And if you're interested in a part of Laura's life she didn't write about, you can visit the The Masters Hotel in Burr Oak, Iowa.

If you're interested in learning more about Laura's adult life, I highly recommend Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hilland the Pulitzer Prize winner Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser (affiliate links). 


Happy Trails! ~ Annette Whipple Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

May 24, 2018

Updated Privacy Policy

Dear Readers,

This note is to update you on Little House Companion's Privacy Policy and Disclosures. You can read the complete policy here. You can find it linked in the menu of Little House Companion. Please contact me if you have any questions at annettemwhipple@gmail.com.

I take your privacy very seriously. I never share your personal information with others without your permission. Subscribers, if you would no longer like to receive emails, please unsubscribe. If you are interested in subscribing to my author newsletter or this blog, please subscribe here. As always, unsubscribe at any time.

Happy Trails! ~ Annette Whipple

Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at AnnetteWhipple.com.

May 11, 2018

List of Little House Books

What order should you read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Many people choose to read them in the order they were published. However, Farmer Boy can be read at any time in the series because it focuses only on a year in the life of Almanzo Wilder, the boy.

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

This is the list of Little House books by publishing date.

Little House in the Big Woods (1932)
Farmer Boy (1933)
Little House on the Prairie (1935)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937)
By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939)
The Long Winter (1940)
Little Town on the Prairie (1941)
These Happy Golden Years (1943)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The First Four Years* (1971)

* These Happy Golden Years was the final book in the Little House series. When Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote The First Four Years, from letters we know she wrote it for adults instead of the Little House series. However she never submitted it to her publisher or even revised the book. It was not published until after her and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane's deaths.

When Laura Ingalls Wilder first dreamed of publishing her story, she wrote her memoir for adults. She was not able to find a publisher for that story, so she rewrote portions and sold Little House in the Big Woods as a children's book. Laura Ingalls Wilder's autobiography was finally published by South Dakota Historical Society Press in 2014 and titled Pioneer Girl (linked to my review). The annotations by editor Pamela Hill Smith make this a bit of a encyclopedia--perfect for adult fans of the Little House books who want to understand more of the story.

Happy trails!
 ~ Annette Whipple
 Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

April 17, 2018

Pioneer and Little House Word Searches

With an upcoming pioneer life program, I wanted to share something for the participants to use that my Little House Companion readers might also appreciate. Here are three pioneer and Little House word searches for you.

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, please click the title of today's blog post to view images and links.
The words in these pioneer and Little House word searches go across, down, and diagonally. No words are backwards! I wanted these to be easy enough for elementary students to complete without too much frustration. 
A big thanks goes out to those of you who helped me come up with pioneer and Little House words to include in the word searches! I asked for help on the Little House Companion Facebook page and was so excited about the responses. The word search creator limits how many words can be used so I had to be quite selective. But as you can see, I still made two Pioneer Living word searches. I couldn't stop at just one.

These word searches are for personal and educational use, including classroom use. The answer keys are included.

Enjoy the pioneer and Little House word searches! If you

~ Annette Whipple Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

April 9, 2018

How Did Mary Ingalls Go Blind?

Please note: If you are reading this blog post in an email, you may not be able to see all images or click on links unless you go to the blog by clicking the title of today's blog post. 

In the opening paragraphs of By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura Ingalls Wilder told of the scarlet fever that Ma, Mary, Carrie, and baby Grace all experienced. Though the doctor bill would be a difficult to pay, the larger concern was that the scarlet fever had left her sister, Mary Ingalls, blind.
In recent years, Dr. Beth A. Tarini devoted a lot of time to understanding what actually caused Mary's blindness. Scarlet fever can cause the loss of sight, but it's only temporary.

Dr. Tarini and a team studied the evidence, including the Pioneer Girl autobiography (linked to my review), letters, and even newspaper accounts about Mary. Of course, she also consulted medical books.

Eventually they came to the conclusion that Mary Ingalls's blindness was caused by meningoencephalitis, a brain infection and not scarlet fever. Dr. Tarini reported her findings in a pediatric journal. National media ran articles about how Mary Ingalls lost her sight.

Why did Laura Ingalls Wilder say scarlet fever caused Mary's blindness? We can't know for sure, but scarlet fever was a feared disease. Books like Louisa May Alcott's Little Women made readers aware of the deadly disease. It's possible Wilder or an editor chose scarlet fever because it was familiar. We have to remember, though the Little House books are autobiographical, they are also considered historical fiction. Wilder based the books on her childhood, but not every word in the books is true.

Laura Ingalls Wilder likely became a masterful observer and story teller as she became "eyes" for Mary. Later, Mary thrived at the Iowa College for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa. She enrolled there in November of 1881. The Dakota Territory paid for her schooling until she graduated on June 12, 1889.

The Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind has more information on Mary.

Read additional articles discussing how Mary Ingalls lost her sight at CNN, CBS, New York Times, and Ann Arbor News. (You likely saw some of those if you follow Little House Companion on Facebook.)

 ~ Annette Whipple

 Annette is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at www.AnnetteWhipple.com.

February 7, 2018

Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder

It's been 151 years since America's beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder was born. I'm grateful we still celebrate her books and birth. Happy birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder!
Laura's books engage readers with part of America's past. Children and adults alike appreciate the way she fictionalized her life to make readers love the Ingalls family-despite their flaws.
Learn more about illustrator, Renee Graef
 at https://renee-graef.squarespace.com/.
Read more about Laura Ingalls Wilder life here.

Want to celebrate? You'll want to read these posts about planning a Laura Ingalls Wilder celebration.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, age twenty-seven.
Photo courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society. 
Used with permission.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Party Planning
Laura Ingalls Wilder Themes
Laura Ingalls Wilder Activities
Laura Ingalls Wilder Food

~ Annette Whipple

January 4, 2018

Little House Wooden Dolls

I love handmade gifts. My sister blessed me with this set of Little House wooden dolls as a Christmas gift. I just love seeing my youngest daughter use the Ingalls dolls to act out the Little House books as we read aloud.
I love the colors and details. Check out Pa's fiddle!
The soft designs even remind me of Garth Williams's illustrations.

A few years ago I made my sister Star Wars peg people. (You can see them at that link. It's my other blog.) She adored them. I'm so glad she made these for me. 

Now, don't you want a set of Little House wooden dolls? I love  the heart she put into these. 

~ Annette Whipple
This post contains affiliate links.  If you make any purchases through the Amazon links, I will earn a tiny percentage at no additional cost to you.  Thanks for your support.