The Prairie Thief
The Prairie Thief
Margaret K. McElderry Books, Hardcover, 9781442440562, 215pp.
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Louisa Brody's life on the Colorado prairie is not at all what she expected. Her dear Pa, accused of thievery, is locked thirty miles away in jail. She's living with the awful Smirches, her closest neighbors and the very family that accused her Pa of the horrendous crime. And now she's discovered one very cantankerous and magical secret beneath the hazel grove. With her life flipped upside-down, it's up to Louisa, her sassy friend Jessamine, and that cranky secret to save Pa from a guilty verdict.
Ten bold illustrations from Erwin Madrid accompany seasoned storyteller Melissa Wiley's vibrant and enchanting tale of life on the prairie with one magical twist.
Erwin Madrid was born in the Philippines and grew up in San Jose, California. He earned his BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, CA. During his last semester of college, Erwin was hired by PDI/DreamWorks Animation where he contributed production illustrations for the animated feature film, Shrek 2. He later became a visual development artist for the Shrek and Madagascar franchise and Megamind. Erwin has also done conceptual art for the video game industry for titles like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. He now works full time as a children's book illustrator.
"Fans of the Little House books will recognize the setting and enjoy the fantastic twist. Stylized black-and-white illustrations capture key moments and add to the warm tone. The comedic, unexpected, satisfying conclusion hits just the right note. A pleasing folkloric/historical blend."
“A charming, inventive tale that reads like a delightful mash-up of Little House on the Prairie and The Spiderwick Chronicles…Mystery and suspense keep the pages turning. [A] top-notch story.”
“Wiley has created an appealing heroine in 12-year-old Louisa Brody and an involving adventure to help her exonerate her jailed father. There’s also humor thanks to the wee Scottish brownie who has found his way out onto the prairie. Wiley’s cleverly constructed story…is not only a fine tall tale but also gives some sense of nineteenth-century frontier life.”