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sheilaraeo

sheilaraeo

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The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic

The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic - I am such a huge fan of E.B. White, and of course Charlotte’s Web as well as Stuart Little are two of my top favorite books from my childhood. Anxious to learn more about this beloved author, I was excited to receive “The Story of Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic”. I enjoyed the small glimpses into his life from childhood through his death at age 86. The frustrating thing to me however, was the habit Sims had of throwing in snatches of a story and then just letting it go without ever carrying it through. I wanted to know more. Such as the passage starting at the bottom of page 60 that reads: “He never tried to further his acquaintance with Mildred elsewhere, but his thought kept returning to her bright eyes and graceful ankles. One evening after skating with her, a chilled but happy Elwyn rode the trolly home. For some time, the Summit Avenue house has been empty of other children. Quiet Marian had been married for more than a decade....”What? So what happened with Mildred? We never really hear about her again except for a brief reference to Elwyn packing the strap that they had each held one end of as they skated that night, to take with him to college. There were several times the author dropped in noteworthy tidbits, but left them shortchanged by not fully explaining their relevance or even completing the thought. Like some of the stories flew in from left field. The glimpses into his writing process were where it really got interesting. Learning about the actual farm in Main and the barn and animals that were the setting for the book was fascinating. I loved seeing photos of the drawings White did as he was conceptualizing the farm where Wilbur and Charlotte lived. The great fascination with spiders and the insistence on accuracy in portraying the orb weaver spider, all worked together to be the great strength of this book. I now look forward to re-reading Charlotte’s Web with a whole new perspective and be charmed all over again.