A BOY, A MOUSE, AND A SPIDER by Barbara Herkert
Kirkus Star

A BOY, A MOUSE, AND A SPIDER

The Story of E.B. White
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of how E.B. White came to write two of his three classic children’s books.

Young Elwyn White, sick in bed, befriended a mouse. Later, “on a train one night in a dream,” a “dapper” mouse dressed in a hat and carrying a cane appeared to Andy (the author’s nickname since his college days at Cornell). When Andy moved to Maine, “he filled his barn with stoic sheep, anxious hens, and gossiping geese. But he still had a mouse on his mind.” The mouse became Stuart Little. In an old boathouse, “with a mouse for company,” Andy created a story about a pig and a spider, denizens of the “high-lofted barn” he had always dreamed of. And Charlotte’s Web came to be. Herkert’s elegant prose and Castillo’s stunning brown ink–and-watercolor illustrations team up for a magnificent model of what a picture book can be. The double-page spreads are simply gorgeous: Elwyn’s nighttime neighborhood, with yellow-amber house lights under a blue sky and crescent moon; a brown-toned New York City street scene followed by the pastoral beauty of Maine; and a breathtakingly beautiful barn scene, reminiscent of Garth Williams’ original Charlotte’s Web but this one in glowing colors. Though White’s third classic, The Trumpet of the Swan, is only mentioned in the author’s note, this is some book.

A stunner—radiant even. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-62779-245-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2017




MORE BY BARBARA HERKERT

ChildrenMARY CASSATT by Barbara Herkert
by Barbara Herkert
ChildrenSEWING STORIES by Barbara Herkert
by Barbara Herkert

MORE BY LAUREN CASTILLO

ChildrenHAPPY LIKE SOCCER by Maribeth Boelts
by Maribeth Boelts
ChildrenSPUNKY TELLS ALL by Ann Cameron
by Ann Cameron

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSTUART LITTLE by E.B. White
by E.B. White
ChildrenSOME WRITER! by Melissa Sweet
by Melissa Sweet
ChildrenCHARLOTTE'S WEB by E.B. White
by E.B. White