As seductive as Krull and Hewitt's Lives of the Musicians, this compendium of brief biographies of literary luminaries is as much fun as a tete-a-tete with a gossipy friend. Krull knows exactly how to captivate her audience; she goes right for the juicy stuff, adding to historical fact the kind of chatty incidentals and amusing anecdotes that put flesh and blood on dry literary bones. Hans Christian Andersen, for example, ``was known to hug trees,'' and Edgar Allan Poe, at 27, married his 13-year-old cousin. Emily Dickinson and Mark Twain shared an eccentricity-they both dressed solely in white. Jane Austen ate chocolate for breakfast, and Jack London liked to pose outrageous challenges to his houseguests-swallowing live goldfish, perhaps, or pushing peanuts up their noses. These exuberant thumbnail sketches are ably matched by Hewitt's sophisticated caricatures, which will delight sharp-eyed readers with their many visual references to particulars and oddities about each of the subjects. A must-have for the reference shelf. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/1994 Release date: 09/01/1994 Genre: Children's
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