Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Illustrator: Garth Williams
Published by Harper and Brothers on October 1st 2001
Genres: Classics, Fantasy, Middle Grade
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This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children's literature that is "just about perfect."
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter.
E. B. White's Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E.B. White's Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series, among many other books.
The writing is great. It’s so beautiful and there is imagery everywhere. If you just stop a second, you will truly be in the scene.
Oh, the feels…..this book is so heartwarming and sweet and full of love. Oh, it was lovely. I love Charlotte. She’s probably one of my favorite fictional characters. She was so kind and clever and wise…even though she knew that her life as a spider would be short and uneventful, she strove to make something of it. She dedicated it to her friendship with Wilbur and saved his life, which is more than can be said for many people, much less spiders. And Wilbur himself was a gem. So sensitive and loving and truly humble.
It was interesting to watch Fern grow up too. She was Wilbur’s first mother figure, and early protector, but then she let go of him as a mother lets go of her child as he grew to have a life of his own. One interesting thing I did notice was that she never spoke to the animals and they never spoke to her. She could understand them quite clearly but there was no communication between them. I feel like that’s important somehow, but I can’t quite figure out how.
And then Charlotte was Wilbur’s second mother, and she did a terrific job. She was his friend, but she definitely took on the mother role a lot of the time, like telling him not to worry and making sure he got enough sleep. Goodness, I do the same thing with my friends. I am the mom of the group.
There was a lot of talk of death, but that is only natural with animals. Life spans are short for smaller animals, or cut short by humans. It was unfortunate that it was so focused around death, but it was handled well. And Charlotte’s death especially brought tears to my eyes. It is not often that a book will cause me to fall so in love with a character, a spider no less, that it is absolutely devastating when she dies. We didn’t know everything about Charlotte, and it was a short book, but her actions and words spoke to her character and I feel like everyone loses something in their life when they read those words. Charlotte’s death is a loss for all of us. She was a heroine and a true friend. What more could you ask of a spider?
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.”
-p. 184 (I’m sobbing augh)
Good vs. Bad
Less than perfect:
- why did she have to dieeeeee
This book was beautiful and heartwarming and gave me so many feels. The characters were all fantastic especially Charlotte, whom I love so dearly. The writing was full of imagery and very powerful. Would I read more by this author? Yes yes yes. Would I recommend this to others? Yes yes yes yes yes.