Reading Challenge: E.B. White

24 Feb

E.B. White’s books for kids are just made of all things wonderful and magical about the world. He has a way with words that always seem to hold a surprise for the reader by the end of the sentence. His sensibility is unique- quietly quirky. His books celebrate the things that make us special.

From Stuart Little, a boy mouse raised in a family of humans, who is curious and independent and full of adventures.

To Louis the trumpet swan who can’t speak but learns how to read and to write and to play the trumpet as well to win his true love’s heart.

And, of course, there’s Wilbur who is truly “terrific” and “some pig” as written in Charlotte’s web.

Their uniqueness is what makes them memorable, sets them apart, and causes conflict in their lives. His books teach us to not only embrace our differences but to seek out what it is we have in common with others.

The people he decides to populate the animals’ worlds with are usually representative of our best selves- the truest of friends, the most tolerant and accepting, and an advocate of all life.

The following are my reviews of the three books plus one more he wrote…

 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Illustrated by Garth Williams

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, Illustrated by Garth Williams

I recently reread Charlotte’s Web and I love this classic more now than I did back when I was younger! It was easy to get comfortable in the world of E.B. White. Things seemed much simpler and innocent back then even though life and death were always present. Then there were the characters- Wilbur, who was such a pig, in the best sense of the word, and matter-of-fact Charlotte who was a mother and a friend anyone would be lucky to have. This book, as she would say, is “terrific.”

 Stuart Little by E.B. White, Illustrated by Garth Williams

Stuart Little by E.B. White, Illustrated by Garth Williams

Delightful and charming. The humor seemed quirky to me but in a good way, not in a forced or false way. I just love how Stuart Little is just the way he is and the world accepts the fact of his existence without question. It’s a fun ride to be on and the writing style, the sentence structures, takes unexpected turns when you least expect it. I loved it. I wanted more. I can understand E.B. White’s to end the story where he did and why he decided there wouldn’t be a sequel but there was no sense of closure- or even a strong sense of character growth for the readers to even guess at what might happen next!

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, Illustrated by Fred Marcellino

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, Illustrated by Fred Marcellino

What a great read! The Trumpet of the Swan is probably the least known of E.B. White’s books for kids, if that’s even possible. But there’s something about it that makes it the closest thing to perfection one can read! The characters are memorable. Louis is a trumpeter swan who can’t speak but decides to learn how to read and write. He also learns to play the trumpet to try and communicate and hopefully win the heart of Serena, the object of his affection. His father is a poet who tends to ramble on and goes to great lengths to help Louis out. I love their relationship. Then, there’s Sam, a human who helps them out because he believes all life (including animals) should be treated fairly. There’s plenty of action and conflict to keep anyone interested but it’s not show-offy or anything, just the right amount. There was one scene I kind of cringed at in which Louis done something to show his dedication in becoming a great musician. I actually thought it was going to ruin the whole book for me but it remains almost like the perfect gift, wrapped up, packed up, ribbon with a bow on it, ready to be enjoyed!
I’m definitely adding it to my most favorite books!

The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition) by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition) by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Who knew a rules book could be so enjoyable? I don’t know if it was Strunk, White, or whoever revised it for the fourth edition but there was a kind of snarkiness with the writing. I enjoyed it. I’ll definitely use this as reference since it’s very helpful- and portable. The English language is beautiful but confusing as well. Learning grammar is almost like a solving a mystery. I wonder how I’ll be able to compromise between my style and proper grammar. I am a firm believer in learning all the rules and mastering them first before ignoring them.


One response to “Reading Challenge: E.B. White

  1. cleopatralovesbooks

    February 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Charlotte’s Web was one of my favourite books as a child despite the fact that it was just so sad in places 🙂


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