Here in Nashville, we’re still digging out from our biggest snowstorm in years, which dumped several inches of snow and ice on the city and wiped out last Friday’s work day. If you’ve never observed the behavior of Southerners when a snowstorm is approaching, think London during the Blitz. As the snow fell, we were greeted with wintry scenes like this:
It’s been cold and dreary for days since the storm hit, so imagine how pleased I was to open my inbox today and find this picture:
The photographer of this beautiful scene is Michael Sims, who writes: “In case it’s as gray down there as it is here, herewith a moment of drama and color from E.B. White’s garden in Maine, shot last summer. I wonder if Charlotte knows this bee. . . .”
Michael, the author of Apollo’s Fire, Adam’s Navel and several other books that combine his Renaissance-man interests in science, nature, evolution, literature and goodness knows what else, is working on a fascinating new project: The True Story of Charlotte’s Web, coming from Walker/Bloomsbury in 2011. “The subtitle is still unsettled, and for that matter we may well change it,” Michael tells us, “but right now it is something like this: The Dramatic Story of E.B. White’s Eccentric Affair with Nature and the Birth of a Beloved Children’s Book.”
Charlotte’s Web is my all-time favorite children’s book (and it may well be yours, am I right?*), so I can’t think of a more interesting project, or a lovelier place to do research, than E.B. White’s Maine home. Here’s Michael, in a photo taken by his wife Laura Sloan Patterson, in front of EBW’s boat house, where Charlotte’s Web was written:
Whatever the weather where you are, enjoy the summer greens of Maine, and stay tuned to the Book Case for updates on The True Story of Charlotte’s Web.
* We’d like to know: What is your all-time favorite children’s book? Tell us in the comments.