After completing his first draft of Charlotte's Web, Mr. White followed the advice often given to writers today, and put the book away for a year to incubate. When it was published, noted critic of children's literature critic and former New York librarian, Anne Carroll Moore, stamped his book, "Not Recommend for Purchase by Expert". She believed Fern's character was underdeveloped.
Although Ms. Moore was one of the most powerful book reviewers of children's literature for the first half of the 20th century, Charlotte's Web went on to become a best seller, with over 45 million copies sold, and has been translated into over 30 languages.
Charlotte's Web continues to be a favorite book of mine, so much so that it is also the favorite book of my protagonist. E.B. White's ability to take something from, our ordinary world, and transform it into an object of our affection, inspires me to look for the miraculous in the things we see everyday.
When asked if the characters from his book were real, he answered, "No, they are imaginary tales... But real life is only one kind of life --- there is also the life of the imagination."
Thank you Mr. White for giving us a life full of imagination.
If you would like to read more about Mr. White, or Andy to his friends, you can check out Michael Sims book, "The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic,"
Or, just grab a copy of your favorite E.B. White classic, your beverage of choice, curl in up in a comfy chair, and take a break from the real world for awhile.
Muse for Today: Do you have an E.B. White favorite?