Best Children’s Book Ever!

Charlottes WebAccording to dozens of critics from around the world, Charlotte’s Web is the best book ever published for children aged 10 and under.

If I had been asked to come up with the best children’s book ever, dozens of titles would have come to mind: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble for one (a darling of anti-establishment types because it was banned for a time!); then there’s Caps for Sale and Millions of Cats (which also ruffled some feathers…or fur), and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.

Moving up in age a bit, I’d nominate My Father’s Dragon, The Princess and the Goblin, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Tuck Everlasting and Mary Poppins. 

They’re all books that have staying power, can be read over and over again, make me laugh, help me understand. They’re books that I want to get into the hands of any young reader who wanders within my range.

I will admit, though, that Charlotte’s Web has key elements that make it appealing to children, parents, teachers, and librarians – all the people who collectively weigh in on the fate of a book for young readers. There’s a spunky female protagonist, there are talking animals, heroes and villains, life and death, and an urgent problem solved without the help of the adult world. E. B. White’s writing is effortlessly precise, charmingly sophisticated (exactly what you would expect from the man chosen to revise the classic writer’s bible The Elements of Style). The ending to Charlotte’s Web is as bittersweet as all of life: Wilbur is saved, but Charlotte cannot be and a hint is dropped that young Fern will soon be leaving her childhood friends and fantasies behind. We close the book with a small ache but with the feeling that all has ended just as it should have.

So I can’t object to Charlotte’s Web. I will however add a sputtering, “Yes, but there’s also…”

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author

Connie Nordhielm WooldridgeBiography | View

Speaker / Presenter

Connie is an experienced speaker and presenter who enjoys sharing her passion for writing and her experience as a writer with readers and writers of all ages. She has presented to students, community, civic and professional organizations, writing groups, library audiences, and seniors – wherever book lovers gather!

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