Authors & Illustrators Born in February: Laura Ingalls Wilder • February 7th

Illustration by Garth Williams for Little House on the Prairie

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls (1897-1957) was born in the Big Woods area of Wisconsin. The family moved several times during her childhood, relocating in Kansas, Minnesota and South Dakota. These experiences provided the material for her beloved series of children’s books about pioneer life. At 16 Laura accepted her first teaching position and taught until she was married at 18 to Almanzo Wilder.

Portrait of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Helen Sewell Illustration

Laura worked most of her life as a journalist, but in 1930 her daughter encouraged her to write the story of her childhood in the north woods and on the prairies. Her first story was entitled (Pioneer Girl.) Since the publication of (Little House in the Big Woods (1932), (cite)) the books have been continuously in print and have been translated into 40 other languages. Many adaptions of Little House on the Prairie book series have been produced for stage and screen.

In 1954 the American Library Association inaugurated the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, which recognizes a living author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

Postage stamp commemorating Laura Ingalls Wilder's work