Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White cover, Fern the girl is holding Wilbur the pig surrounded by other barn animals, Charlotte the spider is dangling above their heads

Cover of Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White, Harper & Brothers, 1952

Charlotte's Web

Written by E. B. White

Illustrated by Garth Williams

New York, Harper & Brothers, 1952

5.5" x 8.25"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

E.B. White at a typewriter

E.B. White

E. B. White was a late Romantic who described this, his second children's book after Stuart Little, as a "hymn to the barn"—a paean to the transcendent beauty of nature. He grants seven-year-old Fern the capacity to comprehend the farm animals, while adults are too easily distracted by tricks like Charlotte's writing in her web. Were the spider's messages—"Some pig"; "Terrific"—signs from above?

In White's estimate, sooner or later most everyone loses sight of the fact that nature itself is the miracle. White wrote Charlotte's Web while reporting on the founding of the United Nations for Harper's magazine. In the atomic age, he recognized, the earth was perishable and in need of protection. What could save it? Wise leaders like Charlotte, or a world forum like this story's barnyard, where even a rat may realize the sense of keeping the web intact.


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Some Writer by Melissa Sweet cover, illustrated books lean against a drawing of EB White

Cover of Some Writer, The Story of E.B. White

By Melissa Sweet, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

Some Writer, The Story of E.B. White

Written and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

New York, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

7.3" x 9.25"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections,

University of Minnesota Libraries