Oct 15, 2012 — E.B. White's classic children's book is ostensibly about a spider and a pig. But author Michael Sims says the story is really about the barn the critters live in, based on a real barn on White's Maine farm.
Jul 14, 2011 — NPR coverage of The Story of Charlotte's Web: E. B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic by Michael Sims. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Jul 5, 2011 — It all started one morning in 1949, when White discovered a beautiful web in his barn, glistening with dew. In The Story of Charlotte's Web, Michael Sims explores how White wrote his magical meditation on time, mortality and friendship — for children.
Sep 15, 2010 — Fall fiction blows in with Nick Hornby's novel of a music-obsessed British lad and his sensible girlfriend, E.L. Doctorow's romp through the 20th century with the highborn but hoarding Collyer brothers, Jeannette Walls' scrappy bush-pilot grandmother, and more.
Dec 14, 2009 — Heller McAlpin's picks include: the story of a lifelong crush on Albert Camus, a humorous take on middle-aged malaise, and a no-nonsense look at mortality. The sharp, fresh writing in these memoirs will bring you headfirst into each author's world, with your heart following close behind.
Sep 15, 2009 — Award-winning children's book illustrator David Small's graphic memoir is strictly for grown-ups. Chilling, unsentimental and beautifully drawn, the book recounts a disastrous childhood — and a life rescued by art.
May 30, 2009 — There's a new book out by Anthony Brown called Little Beauty — and boy, is it ever that. Actually, given the subject matter, it's a very large beauty!
Feb 2, 2008 — In Diary of a Wimpy Kid by author and illustrator Jeff Kinney, the most mundane details of a middle school student's life are uproarious. Kinney's illustrated diaries remind readers about the dramas of junior high.
Dec 28, 2006 — Children's author Beatrix Potter is the subject of a new movie starring Renee Zellweger. But the film covers only a small chapter in the life of an accomplished woman, whose obsessions included the reproductive habits of mushrooms as well as the life of Peter Rabbit.
Nov 28, 2006 — What kid wouldn't like a comforting, joyful book for a holiday gift? A lot of 'em. For true holiday joy, make sure the books you give are truly enjoyable. Here are suggestions for different ages, stages and interests.