Meryl Streep to Narrate New Audiobook Recording of E.B. White’s Classic CHARLOTTE’S WEB

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Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep headlines a new full-cast audiobook recording of E. B. White’s classic children’s book CHARLOTTE’S WEB, on sale October 29, from Listening Library.

This is the first new audiobook edition of the 1953 Newbery Honor Book since the author’s own narration, recorded nearly 50 years ago. Streep will be joined by an ensemble cast of more than 20 veteran audiobook narrators. The audiobook features original mixed-media collage and watercolor cover art by two-time Caldecott Honor‒winning artist and E. B. White biographer Melissa Sweet, who wrote and narrated an exclusive appreciation for the audio.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB is a much-admired example of exceptional children’s literature, praised by the New York Times as “just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done” and voted one of America’s 100 most-loved books in PBS’s The Great American Read. Meryl Streep’s instantly recognizable voice, woven with additional ensemble character voices, creates a fresh take on this beloved novel.

Cover illustrator Melissa Sweet, whose picture-book biography Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White was written with reference materials from his personal estate, says, “E. B. White wrote that CHARLOTTE’S WEB is a story of life, death, and friendship. For the audiobook cover, I chose to illustrate the quintessential moment when Wilbur first meets Charlotte on a perfect spring day in Maine. I am deeply honored.”

As part of Listening Library’s Classics program, this new recording of CHARLOTTE’S WEB will join previous recordings of favorite stories like Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales (read by F. Murray Abraham and a full cast); Grimm’s Fairy Tales (read by an award-winning ensemble cast); The Call of the Wild (read by Jeff Daniels); and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (read by Brooke Shields and Paul Rudd). Each of the recordings in the Classics series features original cover art by award-winning illustrators, including Jerry Pinkney, Carson Ellis, Brian Floca, Noelle Stevenson, Divya Srinivasan, and LeUyen Pham.

For 45 years, Meryl Streep continues to bring a varied and vivid array of characters to life in a career that has cut its own unique path from the theater through film and television. Educated in the New Jersey public school system through high school, Ms. Streep graduated cum laude from Vassar College and received her MFA with Honors from Yale University. Within three years of graduation, she made her Broadway debut, won an Emmy for Holocaust, and received her first Oscar nomination for The Deerhunter. She has won three Academy Awards, and in 2018, in a record that is unsurpassed, she earned a 21st nomination for her role as Katharine Graham in The Post. Her upcoming projects include HBO’s second season of Big Little Lies, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, and Steven Soderbergh’s subversive romp about offshore investment, The Laundromat, for Netflix.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been accorded a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the same honor in 2008 from the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. In 2011 Ms. Streep received a Kennedy Center Honor and in 2014 the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She holds honorary degrees from 10 colleges and universities. Her husband, artist Don Gummer, and she are the parents of a son and three daughters.

Melissa Sweet is a New York Times‒bestselling author and has illustrated nearly 100 children’s books. Her work ranges from board books to picture books and nonfiction titles, and her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living and for eeBoo Toys. She has received numerous awards, including the Sibert Medal, NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Award, as well as two Caldecott Honor awards, for A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams and The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, both by Jen Bryant. Melissa lives with her husband and dogs in Portland, Maine. For more information, visit www.melissasweet.net.

Penguin Random House Audio, named the 2018 London Book Fair Audiobook Publisher of the Year, is dedicated to producing top-quality fiction and nonfiction audiobooks written and read by the best in the business, including books by bestselling authors John Grisham, Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, Kathryn Stockett, Khaled Hosseini, J.K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan, as well as Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Our audiobooks have won 15 Grammy® Awards, 84 Audie® Awards, and 19 Odyssey Awards and Honors. Random House Audio, and its sister imprints Penguin Audio, Listening Library, and Books on Tape, are a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.


Posted: June 5, 2019