Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White

Melissa Sweet. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-544-31959-2
In an illustrated biography that invites slow perusing, two-time Caldecott Honor–recipient Sweet (The Right Word) unspools the life of author E.B. White (1899–1985) in meticulously crafted, scrapbook-style pages. Her carefully assembled, whimsical collages feature watercolor illustrations, homemade paper, wood scraps, and maps merged with cartoons, family photographs, handwritten rough drafts, and other archival material. Over 13 chapters, Sweet recounts White’s near-idyllic childhood in New York state, his postcollege wanderlust, a writing career with the New Yorker and Harper’s magazine, and the acclaimed children’s books he created amid marriage and fatherhood. Aimed at elementary-school-age readers, this fond tribute will be best appreciated by those with some context for White’s classics, e.g., the title’s reference to Charlotte’s Web, though familiarity with his work isn’t required: Sweet gorgeously melds story and art to create a detailed portrait of White as an observant, humble, brilliant wordsmith with an affinity for nature. An author’s note, an afterword by White’s granddaughter, source notes, a selected bibliography, and a chronological list of his books conclude an excellent guide to the life of a celebrated writer. Ages 7–10. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 10/04/2016
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