Enormous Smallness: A Story of e. e. cummings

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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Enchanted Lion Books
Publish Date
8.4 X 11.5 X 0.7 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Matthew Burgess is a full-time professor at Brooklyn College and a part-time teaching artist in New York City public schools. He was fascinated by the lives of saints as a child, and now he loves sharing the stories of his artistic heroes with young readers. Matthew is the author of Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings, Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring, and Make Meatballs Sing: The Life & Art of Corita Kent. He lives with his husband in Brooklyn and Berlin.

Kris Di Giacomo is an American who has lived in France since childhood. She has illustrated over twenty-five books for French publishers, which have been translated into many languages. This is her sixth book to be published by Enchanted Lion Books, following My Dad Is Big And Strong, But . . .; Brief Thief; Me First!; The Day I Lost My Superpowers; and My Dad at the Zoo.


A Boston Globe Best Book of 2015

A Huffington Post Best Picture Book in Biography for 2015

A 2016 Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts

Selected by the Great Lakes Great Books Award committee, a program of the Michigan Reading Association, for the 2016-2017 state-wide literature program

★"An eminently friendly introduction to both the poet and his spirit--deceptively simple, just like its subject." --STARRED review, Kirkus Reviews

"an uncommonly delightful picture-book celebration of Cummings' life" --Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

★"An eminently friendly introduction to both the poet and his spirit--deceptively simple, just like its subject." --STARRED review, Kirkus Reviews

"The title of this book (Enormous Smallness) is perfect. Many of us think of poems as small things, but as much as anyone, E. E. Cummings showed us that even the smallest stanza could hold enormous meaning. Lovingly written (Burgess is himself a poet) and ingeniously illustrated, this book is a treasure for both fans of Cummings, as well as those discovering his poetry for the first time." --The Huffington Post

"Di Giacomo's capricious collages create a lively interplay between pictures and words, and visual motifs such as birds and elephants intermingle with samples of Cummings's work. Burgess delivers a thorough and lovingly crafted homage to a writer whose poems 'were alive with experimentation and surprise.'" --Publishers Weekly

"WOW. Dare I saw I was carried away by the awesomeness of enormous SMALLNESS? It has been a while since I have seen such a perfect pairing of story and art. It will give me great pleasure to put it into the hands of small (and tall) and introduce another generation to the genius of e. e. cummings." --Mona, Jabberwocky Book Store, Fredericksburg, VA

"It's important to get your kid to sleep, but a good bedtime reading does a lot more--it can inspire them in ways that will serve them well later on. That's the message of Enormous Smallness, a new picture book biography of the poet E.E. Cummings." --Fatherly

"A fabulous biographical picture book, this book is a great introduction to E.E. Cummings and his work." --Waking Brain Cells

"The author includes major life events and poems, always circling back to a playfulness born in the poet's childhood and carried through his entire life, nurtured by parents and teachers. What makes this such a successful children's book is the author and artist's focus on Cummings's ability to channel and hold onto the inventiveness of childhood." --Jennifer M. Brown, Children's Editor, Shelf Awareness

"Plus it's beautiful. Each page is a collage of words and visual elements that work in the manner of a Cummings poem. Letters fall from his mouth during graduation, and the more he writes, the more letters make up parts of the background colors of the pages." --Unshelved

"My second graders, with no prompting, absolutely LOVED Enormous Smallness, a perfect picture book biography of the great e.e. cummings by Matthew Burgess. (Without invitation, they applauded!) They were silent and receptive the whole way through (that means they were with me. It was as though they realized they can be poets! At least that's what I hope.)"--Bri Johnson, New York City Librarian

"It's a book that will be hugely encouraging to young children who want to write, be poets, or just do things a little differently from the norm." --Whitney Morton Woodcock, Portland Book Review

"This is a remarkable book that gives an example of one kid who did everything differently--and came out OK. In fact, he became one of our greatest poets. The book is fun, informative, and It sends a valuable message with wit, creativity and beauty; it tells kids its OK to "color outside the lines" and to have an inner life not driven by others' expectations." --Enormous smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings is a KBACH/Changing Hands Bookstore Book of the Month Pick

"This is a book that will satisfy both the adults who read it to children, and the children who are lucky enough to hear it." --The San Francisco Book Review

"To illustrate Cummings fascinating life one would need an especially creative artist and Kris Di Giacomo does just that, combining a tapestry of words (many of them poems) in appealing settings like a tree house that was heated with a wood stove, the busy streets of New York and Paris and the farmlands of New Hampshire." --Charles Sutton, Vermont Country Sampler

"This is a lovely little poem of a book; appropriate enough, since it details the life and poetry of E.E. Cummings . . . a book that will be hugely encouraging to young children who want to write, be poets, or just do things a little differently from the norm." --The Portland Book Review