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Charlotte's Web Paperback – October 2, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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
One day I read about the book and decided after all the years that passed since reading it to my children and then they read it themselves. That I was ready for a. Encore. Read morePublished 15 hours ago by Heather Paul
Cool. I love your book it is the best book I have readied. I think it's just a matter of time before it is famous for a heart touching book.Published 5 days ago by Paul R Bish
My little reader loved this book as much as I did as a kid. Money well spent :-)Published 6 days ago by Patricia
Every person--really, every person--should read Charlotte's Web. It's utter kindness, utter gentility. Just read it.Published 7 days ago by Bruce Rye
Morden English would make it better
It was great very interesting never read a book that long as this amazing
Loved the book as a child. Still love the book and the lessons from the book as a adult.Published 9 days ago by C Robinson
Some books are simply timeless, and Charlotte's Web is one of those books. As part of the third grade curriculum, my kid has been raving about the story of Wilber the Pig, his... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Katherine Chan
Great quality and cute story! My 7 year old has enjoyed reading this book.Published 11 days ago by Jeannie