What inspired a simple story about a spider? Author Michael Sims found the truth when he decided to examine one of the most beloved children’s books of all time in The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic (Walker and Company, $25).

Sims, who’ll appear at Quail Ridge Books and Music on Monday, July 11, talked with us about the book, which examines E.B. White’s inspirations and process for this heartfelt (and heartbreaking) story. It proves nearly as compelling as Charlotte’s Web itself.

Read the full interview here!