Happy Birthday, Mr. White

Today is the birthday of E.B. White, author of two very different and useful books: Charlotte’s Web and The Elements of Style.

A list of E.B. White websites for children.
A visit to E.B. White’s farm.
Full text online of E.B. White’s Elements of Style

An admonition to bloggers from Elements of Style:

It is now necessary to warn you that your concern for the reader must be pure: you must sympathize with the reader’s plight (most readers are in trouble about half the time) but never seek to know the reader’s wants. Your whole duty as a writer is to please and satisfy yourself, and the true writer always plays to an audience of one. Start sniffing the air, or glancing at the Trend Machine, and you are as good as dead, although you may make a nice living.

For bloggers, you can forget about the nice living and substitute “blog stats” for “the air.”

charlotte's web Oh, and by the way Charlotte’s Web is one of the few books that should be read aloud to every English-speaking child before he grows up. Can you name any other books that would be included on that very short list?

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Mr. White

  1. First a minor correction- I think that link is not to the full text of E.B. White’s elements of Style. That’s a link to Strunk’s Elements of Style. E.B. White studied under Strunk in college, and loved his style tips so much that he republished them, but added to them considerably.

    I hate to carp, because this is a delightful post and a delightful post topic. I’d add Winnie the Pooh, Heidi, a good Mother Goose (I have this weakness for Mother Goose, and keep picking up new versions at library booksales), and The Wind in the Willows.
    Actually, we’re big read aloud types here, so I’d add many more titles, but those are a good start.=)

  2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe…

    I think it should be read aloud to all children! (Then reread independently over and over again throughout that child’s lifetime!)

  3. Timotheus

    I’ll throw in my two cents: ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ by Norman Juster.

  4. Ha! Got in early enough to recommend The Hobbit. I’m reading this to our two oldest (6 and 4) right now.

  5. Hey, sis! I’d like to add Little House on the Prairie series to your “short” list. We are now reading/studying these books for school. I loved them when I was little and still enjoy them today.

  6. Hello, again! You didn’t mention two very important birthday babies on this date: your mother and your niece! Happy birthday, Mama and Jessi!

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