Most young readers are familiar with the literary characters Stuart Little, Wilbur, Charlotte, and Sam Beaver. They all appear in classic children’s books written by Elwyn Brooks White. What most readers, adults as well as children, probably don’t know is the story of White’s amazing life. Author and illustrator Melissa Sweet has set out to enlighten us all with her astounding biography “Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White.”
Getting young readers to attempt a biography is usually a hard sell. So what Sweet has done is crafted a book that is filled with drawings, photographs, collages, time lines, family trees, letters and so much more that tell the story of White’s life. From the front endpapers, which depict a collage of White’s writings about eggs, to the table of contents which appears to be typed on White’s manual typewriter, to almost every single page, Melissa Sweet has told the life story of E.B. White in both words and pictures.
Born in 1899, White discovered when he was seven or eight years old that he wanted to be a writer. His love of words led him to a career at “The New Yorker.” This love, which lasted his entire life, enabled him to become an essayist, children’s book author, winner of The Presidential Medal of Freedom, Newbery Honor, a Pulitzer Prize special citation for letters, among so many achievements.
Melissa Sweet has written a book that allows the reader to truly understand who E.B. White was. Her love of what White was able to achieve is translated into a book that is a loving tribute to him.
I suggest “Some Writer!” to children who have read “Charlotte’s Web” or “Stuart Little” and are curious as to how the author was able to create such timeless characters.