Two new titles in the publisher's ""Creative Minds"" series, each focusing on its subject's early years and the events leading up to a monumental publication. For Buck, a childhood in China provided a lifetime of inspiration. Her mother treasured Dickens, a love that Pearl early learned to share; a lover of tales, she spent pocket money (actually earned from her own published writings) on contributions to the local storyteller. Personal tragedy (a retarded child) deepened her experience and led to her interest in adoption. The Good Earth, one of her many widely popular novels, was an unexpected best-seller, soon followed by a Nobel prize. Sandburg's childhood in Lincoln country, his hobo adventures, and his journalistic endeavors are shown as leading to his tradition-challenging poetry and especially to the great biography of Lincoln, first conceived as a brief book for young adults but eventually expanded to six fat volumes. The title here refers to Sandburg's response when--as a prank--an actor dressed as Lincoln appeared during Sandburg's daily walk. Although there are occasional fictionalized direct quotes, these ""stories"" stick closely to known facts. The narrative is not particularly lively, and controversies such as Buck's attitude toward interracial adoptions are not mentioned, but incidents are well chosen to demonstrate the growth of these creative, productive Americans. Collins' full-page drawings are serviceable; Ritz's have more flair. Useful for assignments in the early grades. Each has a list of the author's books for young people.