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Little House on the Prairie was originally a series of nine children's books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her life; focusing especially on her childhood years. Since the first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932, the series has produced a successful television series that aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983, created by Ed Friendly and Michael Landon (who starred as Charles Ingalls) and also starred Karen Grassle as Caroline.

A six episode miniseries was made in 2004 by Disney, and two television films titled Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first in 2000 and the second in 2002 were made that starred Richard Thomas of The Waltons fame. Even more recently however, a musical; Little House on the Prairie: A New Musical was made that stars actor Steve Blanchard as Charles and Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura in the original series, as Caroline.

Little House Books

The books in the Little House series are considered classics in the genre of children's books.[1] Each book was illustrated by Garth Williams, the series itself has been noted to have been critiqued from a feminist perspective,[2] as well as noting the conservative political message[3] and additionally, the representation of the Osage in the books.

Television Series

The original Little House on the Prairie television series that aired on NBC is perhaps the best known visual incarnation of the series. It ran for nine seasons and over two-hundred episodes, not counting the pilot movie or the final three television films. It starred Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls, Karen Grassle as Caroline, Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary, Melissa Gilbert as Laura along with Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush both playing Carrie.

Additional members of the Ingalls family and other characters were added later in the series many were not in the original books, such as Albert.


On July 26, 2008, the musical opened at the Guthrie Theater, being directed by Francesca Zambello.


  1. Best Childrens Books List
  2. Constructing the Little House: Gender, Culture, and Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Romines
  3. Little House, Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Impact on American Culture, Anita Clair Fellman

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