Animal Adventures and Other Updates

HarperCollins has just released cover art for its reissue of Animal Adventures, the third volume in the Little House Chapter Books series of abridgments that was first published in the late 1990s. This book is scheduled for publication in June 2017, following the reissue of The Adventures of Laura and Jack and Pioneer Sisters in February, as I reported a few months ago. I’m also seeing pre-orders for further reissues in this series: Laura and Nellie in August, Christmas Stories in September, and School Days in December. That makes me wonder if HarperCollins will reissue only these five books, given that School Days was first published as book 4, Laura and Nellie as book 5, and Christmas Stories as book 10, and presumably they will be renumbered for this new set. Time will tell!

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Given this revival of the Little House Chapter Books series, I wondered if HarperCollins had planned to reissue some of the My First Little House picture books that were first released alongside the Chapter Books. Cover art has not been released yet, but appearing now on the HarperCollins website is a book entitled A Little House Picture Book Treasury: Six Stories of Life on the Prairie, scheduled for publication in September 2017 and apparently containing the following texts first released individually: Going to TownCountry FairA Little Prairie HouseSugar SnowWinter Days in the Big Woods, and Christmas in the Big Woods. No word yet on whether Renée Graef’s illustrations will be retained.

In other news, Caroline Fraser, who published an annotated edition of Wilder’s nine books in the Library of America series, will be publishing a new book in November 2017 entitled Prairie Fires: The Life and Times of Laura Ingalls Wilder, billed as “the first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie book series”:

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls—the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true story of her life has never been fully told. The Little House books were not only fictionalized but brilliantly edited, a profound act of myth-making and self-transformation. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser—the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series—masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books and uncovering the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life.

More news on this book—including cover art—once it becomes available.

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Pre-order Listing for Growing Up Mary

Amazon.com now has a pre-order listing for a memoir by Melissa Anderson, titled Growing Up Mary: A Memoir of Little House on the Prairie. The book is scheduled to be published by Globe Pequot on 15 June 2010. Looking forward to seeing it when it’s published!

UPDATED 16 DECEMBER 2009: Anderson’s book is now titled The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Time on Little House and has the following catalog description:

When other girls her age were experiencing their first crushes, Melissa Sue Anderson was receiving handwritten marriage proposals from fans as young, and younger, than she was. When other girls were dreaming of their first kiss, Melissa was struggling through hers in front of a camera. From age eleven in 1974 until she left the show in 1981, Melissa Anderson literally grew up before the viewers of Little House on the Prairie.

Melissa, as Mary, is remembered by many as “the blind sister”—and she was the only actor in the series to be nominated for an Emmy. In Growing Up Mary, she takes readers onto the set and inside the world of the iconic series created by Michael Landon, who, Melissa discovered, was not perfect, as much as he tried to be. In this memoir she also shares her memories of working with guest stars like Todd Bridges, Lou Gossett, Jr., Mariette Hartley, Sean Penn, Patricia Neal, and Johnny Cash.

In addition to stories of life on the set, Melissa offers revealing looks at her relationships off-set with her costars, including the other Melissa (Melissa Gilbert) and Alison Arngrim, who portrayed Nellie Oleson on the show. And she relates stories of her guest appearances on iconic programs such as The Love Boat and The Brady Bunch.

Filled with personal, revealing anecdotes and memorabilia from the Little House years, this book is also a portrait of a child star who became a successful adult actress and a successful adult. These are stories from “the other Ingalls sister” that have never been told.