The Official Charlotte Zolotow Web Site

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Books, Biography, Background & Beginning

First-time visitors, welcome! Please scroll down to meet Charlotte and her books, and get an idea of what's on this site. Returning visitors, welcome back!  What's New will tell you what has appeared since your last visit. 
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 charlottesdaughter@charlottezolotow.com. Her daughter, Crescent, reads her emails to her, and sometimes Charlotte dictates a response.
But she still, as always, has a work in progress. Click to find out some more about some haiku she recently collaborated with her daughter on, for a book called Robert's Snow. And recently nine of her books, old favorites in America, have been sold for publication in Japan!
Welcome to Charlotte's web. No, not "Charlotte's Web" (the one with a capital W), but the web site of another Charlotte. This 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).

This 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 1979). 

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 the many books CZ has written, or her life as an editor (including the 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 biography, you've come to the right place.

How this site came to be

This site was created and is maintained by Crescent Dragonwagon, 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 What's New will let you know what's happened since the last time you were here.


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
Charlotte’s Family Album and Charlotte’s biography.


[Home] [Books CZ Has Written] [Books by Subject] [Books CZ Has  Edited] [Charlotte's Biography] [CZ Awards & Lectures] [Kids ??] [CZ's Latest Project] [Teachers' Resources] [School Visits] [CZ's Family Album] [What's New] [Links]
E-mail charlottesdaughter@charlottezolotow.com
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