Review: Charlotte’s Web

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Charlotte's WebMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’ve never read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, you are utterly missing out on a classic Newbery Honor award winner. Go to the library now and borrow this book first published in 1952. You shouldn’t buy it (unless you have children or are giving it as a present), but choose to embrace the entire experience of being a small child walking through your public library’s doors, searching for an amazing book and finding yourself bringing home a tale that will make you cry and fall in love all at the same time. And don’t spoil it by watching the cartoon or regular movies made based on the book until you’ve read it yourself! It’s important….

At a quick glance, a little pig arrives on a new farm and is basically going to be entered into a contest to win a prize for the farm owner. But the pig is scared and confused, turning to all sorts of other farm animals for love and guidance at his new home: chickens, mice, birds and of course, Charlotte, the friendly spider. To help save the pig, Charlotte spins webs overnight about the pig’s talents in the hopes that he’ll be saved from the… sniff sniff… chopping block even if he wins the contest for best pig. But there’s so much more going on in this book…

Charlotte is everyone’s mother. She’s everyone’s teacher. She’s everyone’s friend. As Pollyanna as it will sound, we should all have a Charlotte in our life to help us grow up and mature into terrific, radiant and humble human beings. (I’ll avoid calling us “some pig” as the other message she crafts). All the lessons children can learn from this book are important, even the ones about death. I won’t spoil it, but despite all the efforts across all the animals and the people in this treasure, someone doesn’t make it. It’s on the same level as “Bambi” in my opinion when it comes to a must-read for children, even if the harsh realities of life are exposed.

Please go read it. 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Review: Charlotte’s Web

    Kristin Joy said:
    March 31, 2017 at 4:34 PM

    I have a hilarious story about the first time I read this book (or rather, had it read to me)

    My dad was a long haul trucker and my mom was practically a single mother. The daycare I was sent to was abusive in ways. Already reading at age 3, all I wanted to do was to read the books but they would leave me in a crib all day, refusing to let me out.

    When I told my mom that they left me in a crib all day and wouldn’t let me read she found out, she pushed for answers and in the end, the daycare was closed.

    Since I was already reading, a local Christian school offered to let me take early Kindergarten classes. Unlike the other children that weren’t reading yet, I could read. Still, I enjoyed that the teacher read to us every day.

    She started reading Charlotte’s Web and it very much devastated me when Charlotte died.

    I remember my much older sister driving from our school to pick up my mother from work and I was all to pieces. It was hot and the windows were down and I was loudly sobbing.

    My mother was alarmed when she came out and a group of people had surrounded the car wanting to know what had happened and I kept saying, “Charlotte died, she died”

    The crowd was sympathetic and eventually my mom and sister got me home. They started to question me. I think my mom was mortified when she realized the stir I had caused over a fictional spider. She and her coworkers assumed a classmate had died!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      March 31, 2017 at 4:37 PM

      Oh no! That is horrible and hilarious all at once. Kudos to your mom for getting the daycare closed AND for teaching you to be honest about what’s happened and how you’re feeling. Even if it means people think someone died. Thanks for sharing and giving me a laugh!

      Liked by 2 people

    Rae Longest said:
    April 6, 2017 at 7:56 PM

    E.B. White, the author is also my grammar/writing guru. His Elements of Style (Strunk and White) is a classic which I have used as a textbook before. It is a slim volume, full of practical writing advice. Also, when I first started writing my blog ( a year ago this past March) I reviewed a biography of E.B. White which had a fascinating focus: how White’s childhood strongly helped craft/form Charlotte’s Web. The most interesting part of the biog to me was his years as a writer for the New Yorker magazine, married to it’s most famous editor. It is a very detailed biog, too dry for some, but it was a fascinating read to me.I think it was titled something like E.B. White and the Writing of Charlotte’s Web. I got it from a little bookstore in New York that has a mail order catalogue, Deadalus Bookstore.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 6, 2017 at 8:46 PM

      Wow. I just learned a lot. The biggest: white is the same White as Strunk and White. I have that’s on my bookshelf. I never knew!

      Liked by 1 person

        Rae Longest said:
        April 11, 2017 at 4:56 AM

        Would you believe “back in the day…1967, my first year to teach 7th grade, I was given 30 classroom copies of Elements of Style and told to use it as a composition textbook for my Language Arts Blocs. Because the “text” was so adult, we had to study it together and decipher what words meant, we immersed ourselves in White’s “principles” and advice, and the results were fantastic! I have adopted it as a text since, but juniors and seniors in college expect “more” and more specific models to “go by” and “copy.” Sad, isn’t it what the public schools do to crush creativity in budding writers!

        Liked by 1 person

        Rae Longest said:
        April 11, 2017 at 4:57 AM

        You do know, I assume, that the same White wrote Charlotte’s Web.

        Liked by 1 person

    James J. Cudney IV responded:
    April 11, 2017 at 6:13 AM

    Assumptions are correct on this one. I believe, now thinking back, it was my college freshmen course required to be a student worker in the Writing Center (I worked part-time helping peers with writing papers for the first time), where I first stumbled upon the Elements of Style. I could see it being used as a starter… and then turning to other areas for additional support, plus creativity and discussion. I miss those days.

    Liked by 1 person

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