American essayist and novelist E.B. White (1899-1985) made his children's book debut in 1945 with Stuart Little
, the picaresque, very funny adventure story of a two-inch-creature who, in White's words, "looks very much like a mouse," but who "obviously is not a mouse [but a second son]." After the story passed the test of his nieces and nephews, Stuart Little
made it onto the desk of Harper's distinguished editor Ursula Nordstrom who, in a stroke of genius
, matched White's work up with the whimsical art of illustrator Garth Williams. White and Williams's second novel, Charlotte's Web
, stars a young girl Fern who saves the life of the runty 13th pig in a litter. Lyrical and profound, it's one of the few books for children that tackles death head-on--while celebrating friendship, affection, and the ordinary passing of time. White's last book for children, The Trumpet of the Swan
, illustrated by Edward Francino, was published almost 20 years after Charlotte's Web
, and is the unlikely tale of Louis, a mute trumpeter swan named for Louis Armstrong. He compensates for his muteness--and tries to gain the affection of the beautiful swan Serena--by becoming a virtuoso player of a real trumpet. Here, paperback editions of White's three beloved classics are packaged in one boxed set--a time-tested trio guaranteed to win the hearts of children. (Ages 9 and older)
About the Author
E. B. White, the author of such beloved classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren.
Mr. White's essays have appeared in Harper's magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E. B. White, Essays of E. B. White, and Poems and Sketches of E. B. White. He won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which commended him for making a "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."
During his lifetime, many young readers asked Mr. White if his stories were true. In a letter written to be sent to his fans, he answered, "No, they are imaginary tales . . . But real life is only one kind of life—there is also the life of the imagination."