Little House on the Prairie (Christmas at Plum Creek / The Creeper of Walnut Grove)

9780766201354: Little House on the Prairie (Christmas at Plum Creek / The Creeper of Walnut Grove)
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: From the woods of Wisconsin and the plains of Kansas to Minnesota, the Ingalls fight to build and hold onto a new home, facing the danger of an untamed wilderness on the American frontier of the 1870's.

Christmas at Plum Creek - In this unforgettable holiday classic, the members of the Ingalls family work to make their very first Christmas at their new home in Plum Creek a memorable one full of joy, tears, and a whole lot of love.

The Creeper of Walnut Grove - The patience of several townspeople is tested when a series of petty thefts prompts Laura (Melissa Gilbert) and Andy Garvey (Patrick Laborteaux) to turn amateur sleuths to track down the perpetrator.

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Now that the series that dusted off late-19th-century American prairie life for 1970s viewers has itself been dusted off, keep your kerchief handy. The double feature of "Christmas at Plum Creek" and "The Creeper of Walnut Grove" succeeds, as executive producer Michael Landon and the warm, fuzzy behind-the-scenes folks so obviously intended, at stirring the sap within. "Plum Creek" carries the nostalgic back to the early seasons, when Laura was still a genuine half-pint, braids bobbing on either side of her head. Christmas is coming, and clan Ingalls is intent on surprising one another, their meager means notwithstanding. Secrets and bargain-driving abound, but in the main story line Ma wants a stove and Laura sells her most prized possession, pony Bunny, to nasty Nellie Olsen to buy it for her. When the magic morning arrives, her sacrifice is made bittersweet by Pa's gift of a saddle. "The Creeper" fast-forwards a few years and includes some familiar townspeople, bespectacled teacher Miss Beetle and Dr. Baker among them. Timothy, the town's top student and brightest prospect for a college scholarship to study medicine, turns amateur thief when his pa is laid up and no longer able to tend to the farm. He makes off with a pie, some jam and bread from the mercantile, and a hen in hopes of helping along his father's recovery, but junior sleuths Laura and Andy Garvey are hot on his trail. When the jig is up and Timothy confesses to Pa, the town's good folks come together to pitch in for the foundering family. That way, Timothy can accept the scholarship he's made Walnut Grove proud by winning. Both 46-minute episodes prove timeless--guaranteed to warm hearts and slake the thirst of anyone with a taste for sentimentality. --Tammy La Gorce

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