In his Harpers essay, White mused, “It must be a lot of fun to write for children—reasonably easy work, perhaps even important work.” After Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) pointed White’s essay out to Anne Carroll Moore, she sent White a letter. If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it? “I wish to goodness you would do a real children’s book yourself,” she wrote. “I feel sure you could, if you would, and I assure you the Library Lions would roar with all their might in its praise.” (Moore often inscribed her letters with a return address of “Behind the Lions.”) White replied that he had started writing a children’s book, but was finding it difficult. “I really only go at it when I am laid up in bed, sick, and lately I have been enjoying fine health. My fears about writing for children are great—one can so easily slip into a cheap sort of whimsy or cuteness. I don’t trust myself in this treacherous field unless I am running a degree of fever.”

The Lion and the Mouse, The New Yorker