Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Title: Charlotte's Web
Author: E.B. White
Published: January 1st 1900
Source: Purchased
Genre: Childrens
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
Charlotte's Web  is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur—and of Wilbur's dear friend Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider who lived with Wilbur in the barn.

With the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saved the life of Wilbur, who by this time had grown up to quite a pig.

How all this comes about is Mr. White's story. It is a story of the magic of childhood on the farm. The thousands of children who loved Stuart Little, the heroic little city mouse, will be entranced with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, and Fern, the little girl who understood their language.

The forty-seven black-and-white drawings by Garth Williams have all the wonderful detail and warmhearted appeal that children love in his work. Incomparably matched to E.B. White's marvelous story, they speak to each new generation, softly and irresistibly.

My Thoughts:

I chose to reread Charlotte's Web for Banned Books Week this year mostly because I haven't read it in probably more than 15 years. I did read it numerous times growing up, so I remembered a lot of it. What I took away this time around was probably more than I ever took away back then though. Most of you already know the story, so I won't go into that. What I will talk about is how the book made me feel.

One of those things was Fern. She was loving and caring and full of life. She knew what was going on with the animals and she talked about it all the time. There was something extra special about her. I think what got to me was how much she just enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. Sitting on the stool by Wilbur's pen, taking in the sights and sounds. How many of us get to do that anymore? How many of us wish we could do that right now?

Of course, there was also Charlotte. Wonderful and amazing Charlotte. Her outlook on life and her wisdom are amazing. The way she and Wilbur interacted touched my heart. Wilbur learned a lot about life from Charlotte, and in the end he became the terrific pig she always knew he could be. The absolute best thing about their friendship can be summed up in this conversation between the two of them:

"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."

"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing."

That quote... typing it out is bringing the tears to my eyes. It's such a beautiful quote.

Reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White again brought back so many memories and caused me to have a brighter outlook on life. Friends are important, helping each other is important, enjoying the simple things in life is important. If you haven't read this one since you were a kid, I strongly recommend that you read it again sometime. It will warm your heart just as it did before. I am certainly glad I took the time to.

My Rating:

4 comments:

  1. I know I read this book in the fifth grade, but I don't remember much about it. I loved the movie up until then and watched it a million times (my mum actually just mentioned that the other day), but around that time I stopped watching it because it made me too sad (my dad was dying by then, so movies that had been favourites but that included death in any way...yeah, not so much). I was thinking I should buy the movie for the boys to watch and now I'm thinking I should read the book too. Why on earth was it banned though?

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    1. When I was reading it, it was VERY hard to not just bawl my eyes out. I had to do the whole mind over matter thing. But that quote, oh man. Too much... The reason why it was banned was because of animals talking. I found a link: http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2011/04/03/banned-books-awareness-charlottes-web-eb-white/ I find it ridiculously funny how such a silly thing causes a book to get banned. *sigh*

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  2. THIS BOOK. <3 I will never forget reading it. I was at my grandparents house a lot that summer, and I was inside on a rare moment. I picked up a copy of the book my grandma had laying around, and I read it in one day. SUCH a lovely story.

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    1. It IS a lovely story. I have fond memories of reading it as a kid too. I adore the message and the book. :)

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