Today we tip our hats to three double "E" authors, - Edward Eager, Elizabeth Enright, Eleanor Estes. Old-fashioned, magical, a taste of a simpler time - here are three authors that I thoroughly enjoy.
In the mid 1960s, I picked up Half Magic by Edward Eager ( 1911- 1964) and discovered magic that was NOT consigned to the long ago and the far away. The magic coin that four children find only grants half of each wish - a desert-but-NOT-an-island, a-cat-who-talks-but-can't-be-understood, and a trip home for their mother that only gets her half way home. The children lived in a recognizable relatively modern (to me) world. I was hooked. Quirky and fun, Eager's novels have stood the test of time.
NOTE: I had already discovered E. Nesbit (an E author but NOT a double E) and her "magic in the modern world" novels. HER modern world was my long ago and far away world so, to me, Edward Eager's books were a revelation.
|This cover is the first edition, drawn by the author.|
Enright won a Newbery Medal for Thimble Summer, written in 1939 and a Newbery Honor Award for Gone-away Lake.
Eleanor Estes - Much to our neighbors chagrin, my son and his friends decided to build a museum on the front porch. They include artifacts left over from a nearby construction site, and dug up in the garden. It was lovely and fun and kids from blocks away stopped by to see what the boys dug up. I wonder, (chin tapping ensues) where my son got that idea. FROM THE MOFFATS, another lovely free-range family with a wonderful parent. It is toss-up - for me - whether Rufus M. (in which Rufus gets his first library card - more hearts here!💞) or The Moffat Museum is the best book in the series.
We can't forget Estes' awards, a Newbery for Ginger Pye and Caldecott honors for The Hundred Dresses, illustrated by Louis Slobdokin and the aforementioned Moffat titles. The Hundred Dresses is a heart wrenching story of how a child is laughed at because of her poverty and how the main character just sits by and watches. The book is often held up as a opening into a discussion of bullying.