While composing what would become his most enduring and popular book, E. B. White obeyed that oft-repeated maxim: ""Write what you know."" Helpless pigs, silly geese, clever spiders, greedy rats—White knew all of these characters in the barns and stables where he spent his favorite hours as a child and adult. Painfully shy, ""this boy,"" White once wrote of himself, ""felt for animals a kinship he never felt for people."" It’s all the more impressive, therefore, how many people have felt a kinship with E. B. White.
Michael Sims chronicles White’s animal-rich childhood, his writing about urban nature for the New Yorker, his scientific research into how spiders spin webs and lay eggs, his friendship with his legendary editor, Ursula Nordstrom, the composition and publication of his masterpiece, and his ongoing quest to recapture an enchanted childhood.