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 (otherwise known as the guy who hated capital letters).
The book tells the story of Cummings’ life and how his parents, family and teachers encouraged him to follow his love of art and passion for language wherever it led him. Their support wound up being essential, because where it led him was into a critical woodchipper; the guy was torn to pieces when his first poetry was published. But, as the book tells it, Cummings stayed true to himself and became one of America’s most enduring poets.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” Cummings is quoted in the book’s epigraph. That’s a lesson any kid should learn, even if who they really are is a person who refuses to abide the rules of proper punctuation.