Writer or Naturalist: E. B. White Was Both

I just heard most of this on NPR and can’t wait to seek out the book. It sounds wonderful. It also sounds like the kind of thing that inspires a twinge of writer envy, but that can’t be helped.

The NPR Science Friday segment has E. B. White reading a great passage from the book and wonderful discussion of the intersection of science and imagination.

The author mentioned he had set out to write a book about the natural world and several children’s books—Winnie-the-Pooh, Wind in the Willows—but E. B. White provided more than enough material. I wonder how often the best children’s books have an intimate connection to the natural world; even The Hobbit and A Wrinkle in Time seem to fall in that category. Makes me want to go raid the bookshelves!

p.s. I cannot even write a tiny paraphrase of that lovely line from Charlotte’s Web without tearing up a little.

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2 Comments

Filed under In the News, Love this Book

2 responses to “Writer or Naturalist: E. B. White Was Both

  1. Shaun, have you read E.B. White’s essays? During the college prep years, our teen homeschooler read a lot of essays, including White’s. I don’t know how college applicants can be expected to write effective essays, if they have not spent some time reading well-written essays. So if your children are thinking of college, I highly recommend White’s essays when they get to that point. Enjoyable reading.

    I enjoyed the NPR story and had missed it.

  2. shaun

    I haven’t read them — I really need to because I do love the essay form. Kids focus so much on novels and plays and poetry and read precious few great essays — it’s true, they really need more models. That could be a fun reading list to put together!

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