by Melissa Sweet
I've read a lot of E.B. White's work, but I didn't know much about him. This book was an incredibly enjoyable way to learn about him, and is probably my favorite biography read so far.
I loved this book because it really pulls the reader in. It goes beyond words on a page; it is presented as a scrapbook of E.B. White's life. Snippets of letters and White's early work are beautifully laid out on the pages. Sweet adds a lot of color and character with bright illustrations, giving readers visual insight into the author's life.
Some quotes I could especially relate to:
- "'There is a secret joy in discovering a blunder in the public prints,' Andy wrote. 'Almost every person has a little proofreader in him'" (44).
- "To a writer, a child is an alibi. If I should never write anything worth reading, I can always explain that by pointing to my child" (50).
- "A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell" (102, also from The Elements of Style).