Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 09/01/2017 This quiet biography begins with young Elwayn White, later known as Andy, sick in bed with a mouse as his companion. Readers then see Andy as he explores attics and barns, always observant of sights and smells. After spending dreaded days at school, he communes with his many animals and writes in his journal. While in college, a mouse with a hat and cane appears to Andy in a dream, and he regales his young relatives with tales of Stuart Little. As an adult, Andy moves his family to Maine, where he writes down Stuart’s escapades, as well as stories about pigs, swans, and spiders: “His stories capture the glory of nature and the comfort of hope.” For those who know Charlotte or Stuart, this book, which has the feel of poetry, will fill in information about White, though the evocative text isn’t balanced by any sense of whimsy. The spacious artwork, with a sturdy accent on the natural world, is lovely but also staid. Still, this gives an important glimpse into how inspiration can pop up anywhere. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 Gr 2–5—The lean, carefree verse treads lightly through events in E.B. White's life and occasionally lingers on rich, imagistic descriptions of the rural rhythms that so inspired him ("Elwyn's senses sharpened/to the ripe scent of manure,/the creak of harness leather,/the perfect shape of eggs…"). These particular moments shine and could provide useful material for poetry units on writing using the senses. Herkert presents White's life as relatively untroubled, creating a harmonious feeling that may fill some readers with peace and may lull others to sleep. Castillo's friendly ink-and-watercolor illustrations also contribute to the sense of cheerful pleasantness. Curiously, while the text does elaborate on how and why White wrote Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, it makes no mention of The Trumpet of the Swan outside of the author's note. (The author's note also provides additional context and information on important dates, details, and awards.) VERDICT Herkert's poetry is a delight to the senses, though the overall package is on the slight side. A winsome picture book biography to pair with Melissa Sweet's Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White.—Kate Stadt, Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library, MA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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