From as far back as I can remember I have simply loved books. All books. I was the type of little girl who would keep quiet & be silently in awe of the spines of books as well as the inside contents... Bring me into a library or book store & I would lose myself... Bring me into any variety store & I would find a book. That said, I fell in love many times. With my baby books, my Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie collection, with my brother's blue, hard cover Hardy Boys set, with my grandfather's battered red Scrabble Dictionary, with Beverly Cleary's "Mouse & the Motorcycle" a teacher read us as a class a chapter a day... over & over again... But, being that I grew up in rural South Florida with dirt roads & very much left to my own device, one book touched me with a deep, true love... Charlotte's Web.
Ah... yes. Charlotte. Once I read Lishie's response, I was immediately struck by the fact that no one else had mentioned this book in my previous queries. I, personally, loved the story, but somehow saw the animated version before I ever sat down to read the book, so my love is always associated with the film.
For Lishie it was different, at around six or seven years of age she received the book Charlotte's Web by E.B. White as a gift and although she "cannot recall from whom," she was immediately drawn in by both the animals and the friendships. She said, "The characters come alive in this book. It shows so many things... Compassion, sharing, the circle of life... Friendship."
Lishie was a self-described "nature kid" and tom boy who didn't completely shy away from the feminine. As an animal lover who would take care of any animal in need, she could relate to this story, while still finding the wonders of literary escapism in a story with talking animals.
Through Fern's example, Lishie learned a very powerful lesson, "...that even a little girl could make a difference." She looks forward to sharing this the book with her own son when he is old enough to appreciate it, but in the meantime, they "recently went to see it acted out on stage together at the Paper Mill Playhouse" which I think is just about the coolest thing ever!
Lishie's relationship with reading before and after reading Charlotte's Web, as you can probably imagine, has always been pretty fantastic, in her own words:
Reading was definitely something that saved me... from boredom and more... It took me places when I was terrified and showed me the world even at a young age I knew this. KNEW.She didn't skip a beat after finding her first book love with E.B. White, she says she has, "plenty of room in [her] heart for many book loves. It's like having more than one child, I suppose." Some of her top book loves (besides Charlotte's Web, of course) include Les Miserables, Wuthering Heights, Jane Austen and she's also a reader of scifi and mystery!
Finally, I'd like to leave you with one last thought from Lishie that I speaks to what we all love about Charlotte's Web, whichever way we came to the story over the years. When I asked her which piece of Charlotte's Web that still resonates with her today, here is what Lishie had to say:
All of it... But most importantly, a runt is only worthless if you treat him as such.Such an enormous life lesson echoed by the littlest of the litter.
Here's just a little bit more about Lishie, and where you can find her on the web (not Charlotte's!):
I'm a F/T working mom of a Special Needs 3 yr old in NJ (so, yes, I have 2 full time jobs!) who loves to cook, bake & eat with her family every night. I also love to craft & DIY. And reading is like breathing to me :)
DeLish - A food blog
art for an archangel - a craft/DIY blog
Did you read Charlotte's Web or see the movie?
What did you think?
(I am haven't been able to get Templeton's "Smorgasbord" song out of my head the whole time I have been writing up this post!)
What was your first book love?