Three Beloved Classics by E. B. White

( 3 )

Overview

Charlotte's Web

pictures by Garth Williams

The Newbery Honor-winning story of a remarkable pig and the spiderwho changed his life.

Stuart Little

pictures by Garth Williams

A most unusual mouse sets out on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Overview

Charlotte's Web

pictures by Garth Williams

The Newbery Honor-winning story of a remarkable pig and the spiderwho changed his life.

Stuart Little

pictures by Garth Williams

A most unusual mouse sets out on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Trumpet of the Swan

new pictures by Caldecott Honor Artist Fred Marcellino

The joyous tale of Louis, a trumpeter swan in search of his voice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064409643
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: Box Set
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 282,264
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.21 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

E. B. White, the author of such beloved classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan, was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine, then in its infancy. He died on October 1, 1985, and was survived by his son and three grandchildren.

Mr. White's essays have appeared in Harper's magazine, and some of his other books are: One Man's Meat, The Second Tree from the Corner, Letters of E. B. White, Essays of E. B. White, and Poems and Sketches of E. B. White. He won countless awards, including the 1971 National Medal for Literature and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which commended him for making a "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

During his lifetime, many young readers asked Mr. White if his stories were true. In a letter written to be sent to his fans, he answered, "No, they are imaginary tales . . . But real life is only one kind of life—there is also the life of the imagination."

Biography

"Style is even more important in children's books than in those for adults,” said the New York Times reviewer of Stuart Little, E.B. White's first book for children, in 1954. White -- an essayist whose elegant, deceptively simple writings for Harper's and The New Yorker had garnered him national acclaim -- may have seemed an unlikely children’s book author, but Stuart Little proved that good writing (and style) could translate to any genre, even to books for readers too young to enjoy his Talk of the Town pieces.

White had in fact been writing ever since he was a child, growing up in the "leafy suburbs" of Mount Vernon, New York. "I fell in love with the sound of an early typewriter and have been stuck with it ever since," he said later. After graduating from Cornell University in 1921, he tried to turn his facility with words into some form of gainful employment, but found advertising too dull and news reporting too taxing. Finally the Seattle Times asked him to create a small daily column of brief anecdotes and light verse, and White joined Mark Twain in the pantheon of American newspaper humorists.

In 1926, a fledgling publication called The New Yorker offered him a job on its staff. There, he helped create the signature style of clear, elegant writing with which the magazine would thereafter be associated. In New York he befriended writers like James Thurber and Dorothy Parker, and met the woman who was to become his wife, the literary editor Katharine Sergeant Angell.

White's second literary career, as a writer of children's books, had its origins in a dream of a little boy like a mouse, "all complete, with his hat, his cane, and his brisk manner." He began to make up stories about this dapper character to please his nephews and nieces, and eventually organized the Stuart Little stories into a book, which was published to high acclaim in 1945, and made into a feature film in 1999.

The barn of White's farmhouse in Maine provided the inspiration for a second children's book, Charlotte's Web (1952). This fable about a heroic spider and her efforts to save a pig from slaughter was even more successful than Stuart Little. "As a piece of work it is just about perfect," wrote Eudora Welty in The New York Times, and millions of readers agreed. Charlotte's Web was still high on the bestseller lists in 1970, when it was joined by White's third and final book for children, The Trumpet of the Swan.

White produced another bestseller in 1959, when he revised and expanded a little handbook of grammar and usage written by his late teacher at Cornell, William Strunk, Jr. Now familiar to generations of college students as Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, the book made a wise and witty case for what White called "clearness, accuracy and brevity in the use of English."

White's assessment of his own writing was a characteristic mix of humility and grandeur: "All that I ever hope to say in books is that I love the world. I guess you can find that in there, if you dig around."

Good To Know

Galleys of Stuart Little were sent to Anne Carroll Moore, who was head of children's books at the New York Public Library. Moore hated it. "To her it was nonaffirmative, inconclusive, unfit for children, and she felt it would harm its author if published," said White's editor, Ursula Nordstrom. She fired off a letter to White’s wife, and then made her case to Nordstrom -- who went ahead and published anyway.

After Stuart Little was released, White received a great deal of praise for the book, as well as some unusual criticism: "Then three fellows turned up claiming that their name was Stuart Little, and what was I going to do about that?" he wrote. "One of them told me he had begun work on a children's story: The hero was a rat and the rat's name was E. B. White."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Elwyn Brooks White (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 11, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      Mount Vernon, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      October 1, 1985
    2. Place of Death:
      North Brooklin, Maine

Read an Excerpt

Charlotte's Web
pictures by Garth Williams

The Newbery Honor-winning story of a remarkable pig and the spiderwho changed his life.

Stuart Little
pictures by Garth Williams

A most unusual mouse sets out on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Trumpet of the Swan
new pictures by Caldecott Honor Artist Fred Marcellino

The joyous tale of Louis, a trumpeter swan in search of his voice.

E. B. White Boxed Set (revised). Copyright © by E. White. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    A great collection of children's classics.

    These are three best-selling children's books of E.B. White, and a wonderful collection of classics.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2006

    In this review you are going to read about Charolette's Web by E.B White

    In this review you are going to read adout Charolette's Web by E.B White. The book Charolette's Web is about a pig and it's friends. In the beginning ther is this guy that is going to kill Wilbur because he is a runt in the family of the other pigs. But a little girl named Fern said theat she would take responsibility of the pig. Then later on in the book she had to get rid of the pig to a guy that is Mr.Zuckerman beacuse it kept on getting into the garden. In the story there is this spider named Charolette. She would be always talking to Wibur all the time. Also in her webs she would write things like humble or some pig or something like teriffic. That is my review for the book Carolette's Web

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    One of the greatest children's books ever!!!

    This book was and still is one of my favorite children's book. The plot of the story, and how the charater's relate makes it one of my favorites. In this book Wilber the pig goes through up and downs with his family and friends. I think and believe that everybody should read this book.

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