Books, Biography, Background & Beginning
Please scroll down to meet
Charlotte and her books, and get an idea of what's on this site.
New will tell you what has appeared since your
Charlotte turned 92 in June 2007. She
has some major disabilities; she lives at home, in the same
home she has lived in for 50 years, with a round-the-clock
caregiver, a lovely woman from Ghana. She is wheelchair-bound, close to blind, and
pretty mad about it (understandably). But she has no
illnesses or diseases, and though she is sometimes forgetful
these days, her memories about writing, editing, and the
children's book world are very clear. Because of Charlotte's
lack of vision, please send email to
daughter, Crescent, reads her emails to her, and sometimes
Charlotte dictates a response.
still, as always, has a work in progress. Click to find out
some more about some
recently collaborated with her daughter on, for a book
And recently nine of her books, old favorites in America,
have been sold for publication in Japan!
to Charlotte's web. No, not "Charlotte's Web" (the one
with a capital W), but the web site of another
Charlotte is just as important to children's books as the other one
--- and even though she only has two legs and not eight,
she is almost as famous, and just as well-loved.
(Photo, right, Charlotte
in front of her home, several years ago, when the
forsythia was in bloom. This is where she would stand to
welcome you in person if you were coming to visit).
Charlotte is not a spider, but...
... a lady in her
90's, with bright green eyes and white hair, who has always been just a little
shy, who has always loved children and who has never forgotten what it feels
like to be a child. (The portrait of Charlotte to the
left was taken by photographer Andrew Kilgore in Little Rock, Arkansas, around
This Charlotte is a children's book writer and editor. Her
full name is Charlotte Zolotow (before she was married, long, long ago, she was
Charlotte Gertrude Shapiro. Sometimes her friends call her CZ.
And, as the
children who narrate the story of her book
I Know a Lady
say of someone who lives on their block, she "...is a lady who lives alone. She
works in her garden and gives us daffodils in the spring... She waves to us
mornings on our way to school and smiles when we pass her house coming home."
When you come to
Charlotte's web site, please think of her as standing on her porch and giving
you a wave and a smile.
What you will find here
"Few writers for
small children so empathize with them as does Charlotte Zolotow," wrote
children's literature critic/scholar Zena Sutherland, in Children and Books,
noting that Charlotte's "... understanding of children's emotional needs and
problems, and her ability to express them with candor, have made her one of the
major contemporary writers of realistic books for small children."
Whether you'd like to know more about
books CZ has written,
or her life as an editor (including
books CZ has edited,
and the many authors she has worked
with); if you're interested in the answers to some of the
questions children ask Charlotte (from "Where do you get your ideas?" to "Do you
have any pets?") or if you yourself want to ask a question;
or if you're a grown-up who wants to know what shaped
Charlotte's eight-plus decades and read a brief
you've come to the right place.
How this site came to be
site was created and is maintained by
Charlotte's daughter. It was put up in honor of Charlotte's
85th birthday (June 26, 2000; the picture to left shows,
left to right, Crescent, Charlotte, and her son/Crescent's
brother, Stephen Zolotow. It was taken by the late Ned
Shank, Charlotte's son-in-law, in Charlotte's living room
two days after that birthday).
Dozens of Charlotte's friends, family,
neighbors, authors, and colleagues have contributed to it.
All of us hope you'll have fun exploring Charlotte's Web
Site, and return often. A click to
will let you know what's happened since the last time you
And here, taken 5 years later, is a photo from Charlotte’s
90th birthday party.
Charlotte is seated in the chair, laughing. The other old
lady, in the wheelchair, wearing a yellow dress, is
Charlotte’s older sister, Dorothy, who turned 96 on the same
day. (To see them when they were younger, go to