Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, pictures by Garth Williams
“It is not often someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” This final quote from the book makes the writer in me giggle endlessly. Anyway… I always wonder how many thousands of children have had their first encounter with the harsh reality of mortality through this book. I know I was one even though I can’t tell you how old I was when I first read it. It was far enough back that I just have always known it without having an actual tangible memory of it. In rereading this as an adult I find the characters striking in ways I never expected. Wilbur is almost frustrating in his child like self centered tendencies. Charlotte is so respectable, admirable. It breaks my heart that Fern didn’t care to be there for Wilbur’s moment of triumph, how quickly we outgrow things. Templeton I think is the only character who gets the same eyeroll from adults and children alike. What is it about this book that has made it a timeless children’s classic when it was almost kept from publication by a NY Public Librarian who was the respected opinion in children’s literature?