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Letters: Charlotte's Web

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Now, your comments about yesterday's program. Many of you responded to my tribute to a spider named Charlotte, the title character of E.B. White's classic children's novel "Charlotte's Web." In that story, audio book producer Joe Berk recalled how difficult it was for White to record the part of the story where Charlotte dies.

Mr. JOE BERK (Audio Book Producer): He broke down, just as I did. We did 17 takes. And I said on a number of occasions, I said would you consider taking a break? And he said I've got to do it, Joe.

BLOCK: Lynn Sandweiss(ph) of San Pedro, California is a former teacher. She writes: I was one of many at our school who regularly relied upon one unemotional teacher who was willing to come into each of our classrooms when it was time to read the part about Charlotte's death. Considering that it took E.B. White 17 takes, I now find that we were in excellent company.

And Laurie Higgins(ph) of Detroit told us about her family's experience recording "Charlotte's Web" themselves. They wanted to be able to read the book to their niece, who lives in Maryland, so they made their own audio version to send her. We all had our roles to play, she writes. At times, there were 10 people or more squeezed into our office, gathered around a computer, around a tiny microphone we were using to record. The barnyard and fair scenes were the most chaotic, of course. And there wasn't a dry eye in the house when Charlotte passed away. As much love as E.B. White put into creating her, I hope he would be happy to know that for at least one family, Charlotte has given so much back.

We appreciate your comments. You can send them to us at our Web site: npr.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.