Charlotte's Web

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This past week I reread and wrote about Charlotte's Web for a yet-to-be-announced project, and I was reminded once again what a Perfect Children's Book it is. No: a Perfect Book, for any age reader. The tale of a little pig destined for slaughter and the spider who weaves a “miracle” of words in her web to save him feels almost archetypal now. From its ominous first sentence—“Where’s Papa going with that ax?”—to its iconic ending—“It’s not often someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both”—White’s simple story of barnyard companionship, creativity, and mortality still makes me cry.

You know what is amazing to me? When Charlotte firmly declares to Wilbur, “You shall not die,” we somehow instantly believe her—a tiny spider standing against the terrible axes of humankind.

But after all, isn't that what all artists are?