Now is the hour when frogs and thrushes Praise the world from the woods and rushes. Sleep, my love… Sleep, my only dear, in the dark… — Charlotte’s Lullaby, by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman.
A few weeks before E.B. White’s classic came out, he was asked to explain why he wrote it. His reply is beautiful (in much the same way that Charlotte’s Web is beautiful). Here he explains how he became fascinated with spiders:
“I had never paid much attention to spiders until a few years ago. Once you begin watching spiders, you haven’t time for much else – the world is really loaded with them. I do not find them repulsive or revolting, any more than I find anything in nature repulsive or revolting, and I think it is too bad that children are often corrupted by their elders in this hate campaign. Spiders are skilful, amusing and useful. and only in rare instances has anybody ever come to grief because of a spider.”
Happy 115th birthday to E.B. White! During his life, White wrote some of best known children’s books of the past century, such as Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He captured the imagination of children everywhere with his talking animals, while at the same time teaching them important lessons, like the value of friendship.
Here at NYPL, we love children’s books! So much, in fact, that we decided to create an exhibition, The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, where you can actually hear E.B. White read from Charlotte’s Web! If you want relive some memories of your childhood, come check it out at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building through September 7th. Or, you can always stop by your local NYPL branch and pick up a copy of any of E.B. White’s stories today!