Charlotte's Web is one of the best books ever written. It's one of those books that was written for children but is really just a vehicle to pass on wisdom to adults. I cannot read it without crying. The novel travels from spring to autumn and so, no matter what season of year I pick it up, I always feel as though I have picked it up at the perfect time and that it is speaking directly to me and my current experience.
My two boys are eager to read books that contain more action than Charlotte's Web and I guess it's true that when I read it to them, I am doing it in an act of selfishness. Still, I do think that they absorb some of the sweetness and insight that the book offers.
I have been trying to read it to them this most recent time since the spring and I finally had to do it by trapping them on an hour long train ride with only that book available. By the second chapter my older one was begging me to continue, and last night, the day before their first day of school - the surest sign that summer is over, we picked it up again and read chapter 15 (see above). Of course the tears came.