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Charlotte's Web Paperback – October 2, 2001
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Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
CHARLOTTE'S WEB has been one of my absolute favorite stories since I was 6-years-old, which is why this Signature Edition of the tale instantly caught my eye.Read more ›
Many children will never experience life on a farm or visit a county fair (the two major book settings). White and his illustrators picture that life sensually and beautifully. The story of Wilbur (pig) and Charlotte's (spider's)friendship, what she does to save him, the toll it takes on her, and her eventual legacy, recalls the unconditional love mothers have for their children. (Fern, the Arables' daughter who saves Wilbur's life at the start, retreats from the storyline as her interest shifts from animals to boys.)
All this is told amidst word backgrounds of warm summer days, dank cellars, midways filled with discarded food and paper, cellar barns filled by scents of straw, manure, and slops. (Who but White could've described the leftovers fed to Wilbur and actually make them sound delicious?)
White's gift for character also shows most interestingly in the rat Templeton, who many may identify with. Tough, clever, self-serving, defensive, but valiant in the end, he adds much needed sour spike to essential scenes that may have otherwise been too sweet (his negotiation with Wilbur over Charlotte's egg sac is one example) Templeton's self-desciption at book's end of "living for the pleasures of the feast," summarize in a way what makes life and what we do for each other in it worth the trouble. Essential reading for children and adults.
As the story opens, eight year old farm girl Fern Arable stops her father from killing a piglet who has been labeled the runt of the litter. The little pig, whom Fern names Wilbur, becomes one of the central figures in the story. Eventually he will be befriended by Charlotte, the wise and loving spider mentioned in the book's title.
White creates a sort of modern animal fable in which his barnyard characters can speak both with each other and with Fern. White's barn is populated with some truly marvelous characters. Special mention should be made of Templeton the rat. Gluttonous, sneaky, often nasty, but curiously sympathetic, Templeton is one of the great anti-heroes in modern literature.
Part of this novel's brilliance is the fact that the author makes a heroine out of a spider: a creature that many people probably regard with fear. Unlike a cute piglet or other barnyard creatures, a spider is a creature vastly different from humans. White's Charlotte is a truly remarkable character. White's witty, compassionate prose style is an ideal vehicle for telling the story of Charlotte and her friends.
"Charlotte's Web" is a masterful blend of whimsy, humor, gentle satire, and life-and-death drama. But above all, it is a powerful story of friendship. Deeply moving and superbly written, this is a book which, I believe, will endure as a treasured classic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My cherished favorite of all children's books, the message of friendship it holds transcends all ages. A must for every child's library, best for slightly older, i.e.: 7+Published 2 days ago by M
This was read to me in school when I was little. Definitely worth a review as an adult.Published 4 days ago by Yellowjacket
My child loves the movie, so I bought the book for a bedtime story. It poses a lot of questions for my 4 year old but it still calms him down to go to sleep.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
What a wonderful classic. I am reading it for my 5 year old daughter at the moment and I am sure we will be rereading it again in the near future. Read morePublished 7 days ago by R. Adams