Thank you, Maria Russo, for these lovely words about Enormous Smallness
in the NYT Sunday Book Review:
If ever a life story benefited from being told in the form of a picture book, it’s this biography of the poet E.E. Cummings, with mesmerizing art by Kris Di Giacomo. Strewing casual rhymes here and there, Matthew Burgess’ narrative follows the poet from cradle to grave. But the focus is mostly on the two enchanted little domestic worlds that formed Cummings and nurtured his love of words. First there was his childhood home in Cambridge, Mass., where he lived with his extended family and many pets and composed his first poem while looking out a window at age 3 (“Oh, my little birdie, Oh / with his little toe, toe, toe!”). Later, we see him ensconced in his cozy rowhouse in New York City with “the love of E.E.’s life,” Marion Moorehouse. Cummings’s distinctive personality comes through — a gentleness of spirit, combined with ferocious ambition. Di Giacomo integrates the story’s words into her richly textured pictures with a boldness and playfulness that are, of course, wonderfully appropriate to the subject.