Authors, illustrator to visit De Smet Homestead and LauraPalooza in Brookings

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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Two authors, William Anderson and John E. Miller, and an illustrator, Renée Graef, will attend the LauraPalooza conference this week at South Dakota State University in Brookings. They also plan to spend time this weekend at the Ingalls Homestead near De Smet. The conference in Brookings takes 

place Thursday and Friday with an optional day Saturday in De Smet.


Anderson spent seven summers while in college and early in his teaching career working with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society. He conducted tours, worked on research and restoration projects and helped amass the large collection of Ingalls and Wilder family artifacts that are now displayed in De Smet.  He is a frequent speaker at colleges, libraries and schools and is the author of 25 books, many of them dealing  with local  and state history.  They include “The Story of the Ingalls Family,” “Laura Ingalls Wilder Country,” ”Laura Ingalls Wilder: a Biography,” ”The Little House Guidebook,” and “M is for Mt. Rushmore.”  He recently completed “The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” which contains many letters from Wilder to De Smet residents. Harper Collins will publish it in March of 2016.


Miller taught American history at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., for one year and at  South Dakota State University in Brookings for 29 years. Among his eight books are “Looking for History on Highway 14,” which includes chapters on Wilder and Manchester artist Harvey Dunn, and three books on Wilder: “Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House: Where History and Literature Meet,” “Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend” and “Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane: Authorship, Place, Time and Culture. Miller’s most recent book is ”Small Town Dreams: Stories of Midwestern Boys Who Shaped America.


Graef has illustrated more than 700 children’s books. Her first, “Meet 

Kirsten,” featured one of the original 

historical characters for the American 

Girl Collection. Graef went on to work for Harper Collins in the 1990s as a creative director and illustrator for the “My First Little House” series. Based on Wilder’s “Little House” books, they were created for younger children. She has illustrated many picture books, chapter books, baby books, paper dolls and more.


In a recent project for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., Graef completed illustrations for a book about a girl working in the 1670s for a Parisian tapestry factory.


Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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