Thursday, May 21, 2015

enormous SMALLNESS: A Story of E. E. Cummings

enormous SMALLNESS: A Story of E. E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess and illustrated by Kris DiGiacomo

Four paw prints.  In October of 1894 a baby was born to a family in Massachusetts.  He was named Edward Cummings after his father, but his family called him Estlin.  It was the dawn of a new century and there was new art and technology all around the world to fascinate a young boy. But, with everything around him, he was still interested in simpler things like birds and nature. Even at a young age he would describe what he saw and how he felt in such a beautiful way that his mother started writing his thoughts on paper when he was only three.  He graduated from college with a degree in literature, but before he could really concentrate on his future career he joined the military where he was sent to France as an ambulance driver during World War I.  After the war he remained in France for a few years, but when he was done experiencing Europe he moved back home.  He settled in New York City where he began writing.  He experimented with different forms of poetry.  Some people didn't know what to make of his style, but many people loved his new style of expression.  As time went on he went from being known as Estlin Cummings to e. e. cummings, one of the most famous and influential poets in 20th century America.  I'll admit, this book left me a little confused.  I loved the story and I loved the illustrations, but I had a hard time understanding the poems.  But, I enjoyed the book so much that I now want to learn more about e. e. cummings and isn't that what a good book should do?  If you are interested in learning more about e. e. cummings (like I am) then visit or  These websites are not as "kid friendly" as I would like, but they are a good start.

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