Not many writers are known for both children’s stories and a writing craft book.  But then, of course, most writers are not E. B. White.

Like most of you, I’d wager (if I were a betting woman), my first acquaintance with this writer, who was born 113 years ago today, was through the lovely and tender story of Fern, Avery, Wilbur, Charlotte and the others. Charlotte’s Web, a Newberry Honor book and winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, is one of the bestselling, and best-loved, children’s books of all time. His other children’s books are also well-loved, of course.

But as a writer, you’re not likely to pull out Stuart Little or Trumpet of the Swan as you’re working away at your current work in progress. You might, however, find yourself referring to White’s OTHER famous book - The Elements of Style, which he cowrote with William Strunk, Jr. I know I have it on my writing shelf. The most widely read and employed English style manual, its information on commonly misused words and phrases, as well as advice on usage and composition, are standard.

So, happy birthday, Mr. White. I think I’ll celebrate by pulling out Charlotte’s Web – and maybe checking this post against my rusty copy of Strunk and White.

What’s your favorite children’s book? Writing book?

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