A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White by Barbara Herkert, Lauren Castillo

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A lyrical biography of E. B. White, beloved author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, written by Barbara Herkert and illustrated by Caldecott honoree Lauren Castillo.

When young Elwyn White lay in bed as a sickly child, a bold house mouse befriended him. When the time came for kindergarten, an anxious Elwyn longed for the farm, where animal friends awaited him at the end of each day. Propelled by his fascination with the outside world, he began to jot down his reflections in a journal. Writing filled him with joy, and words became his world.

Today, Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web are beloved classics of children's literature, and E. B. White is recognized as one of the finest American writers of all time.

"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. . . A stunner--radiant even."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A subtle narrative structured like verse . . . Castillo uses brown ink, soft watercolors, and digital manipulation to create sturdy, nostalgic scenes of city and country to accompany the development of White's writing and family life. Rich and rewarding."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Herkert's poetry is a delight to the senses . . . Castillo's friendly ink-and-watercolor illustrations also contribute to the sense of cheerful pleasantness. A winsome picture book biography."--School Library Journal

"This book has the feel of poetry . . . an important glimpse into how inspiration can pop up anywhere."--Booklist

"The short ragged-right lines beam with love for his writing and the joys of attentiveness to the world. . . Line and watercolor art with some additional textural and digital touches has an unassuming robustness well suited to its subject."--The Bulletin

"A gentle reverie on a beloved writer, ideally suited for children first encountering his children's books as read-alouds."--The Horn Book


Barbara Herkert is the author of Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter. She has her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University, and lives in Oregon.

Lauren Castillo is the author-illustrator of many books for young children, including the Caldecott Honor-winning Nana in the City, Melvin and the Boy and The Reader, written by Amy Hest. She currently lives in Pennsylvania.

Target Age: 5-9

Henry Holt & Company

Pub Date: October 24, 2017

0.4" H x 10.6" L x 10.0" W

40 pages