Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Charlotte's Web

If you love good writing or if you love to read and write, and if you haven't read Charlotte's Web lately, you really ought to give it a second-or fourth or fith go. If you've never read it, then it's a MUST.

We read Charlotte's Web this past week for Children's Lit., and even though I read it two years ago, I had once again forgotten what a spectacular book this is.

Publishers Weekly listed the book as the best-selling children's paperback of all time as of 2000. Lasting as a favorite since its publication in 1952 says volumes about its classic appeal.

Eudora Welty wrote, "As a piece of work it is just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done."

Last night we examined the major elements of literature within the story, and it holds up to all kinds of scrutiny. Apply almost any school of literary criticism, and Charlotte's Web is a great study. It is, quite simply, a nearly perfectly written story.

And best of all, no matter how many times I read the story, I will cry, yes every time, when Charlotte dies. Anita Silvey tells this in her Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators: "...[W]hile making a commercial recording of the book, White himself choked up as he read those elegiac words about Charlotte--'and no one was with her when she died'--so that the taping session had to be stopped."

Not bad, when the creator himself is so moved.
Want a fast read of one of the most classic of all stories? Pick it up and read it again.

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