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Charlotte's Web

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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." This high-quality paperback features vibrant illustrations colorized by Rosemary Wells! Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her 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." This high-quality paperback features vibrant illustrations colorized by Rosemary Wells! 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. This edition contains newly color 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. --harpercollins.com


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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." This high-quality paperback features vibrant illustrations colorized by Rosemary Wells! Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her 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." This high-quality paperback features vibrant illustrations colorized by Rosemary Wells! 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. This edition contains newly color 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. --harpercollins.com

30 review for Charlotte's Web

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    I don't give a fig if it is a kid's book, Charlotte's Web is one of the most well-crafted stories ever written. This classic children's tale deserves 5 stars for story craft and language usage alone! (Read your Strunk & White to understand this man's talents in that regard.) The fact that it's a heart-warmer/wrencher clinches it. Never was I made to love pigs and spiders so much in my life. Charlotte's Web will always rank high amongst my favorites. But why, for the love of god, did they I don't give a fig if it is a kid's book, Charlotte's Web is one of the most well-crafted stories ever written. This classic children's tale deserves 5 stars for story craft and language usage alone! (Read your Strunk & White to understand this man's talents in that regard.) The fact that it's a heart-warmer/wrencher clinches it. Never was I made to love pigs and spiders so much in my life. Charlotte's Web will always rank high amongst my favorites. But why, for the love of god, did they make us watch the cartoon version of this tear-jerker in school? Did they want to make us weep embarrassingly in front of one another? If so, mission accomplished, you sadistic school district!

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    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 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. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    'pologies to anybody following my reviews in hope of insights into epic fantasy novels - I get through more kids' stuff reading to my little girl (who is too disabled to do it for herself). Charlotte's Web is a book I've been aware of for nearly 40 years but somehow managed to avoid reading when I was little. We picked it up at the hospice last week and read the first half, then had to buy a copy at Waterstones yesterday to finish it off (59 years in print and it's still selling for 6.99 in 'pologies to anybody following my reviews in hope of insights into epic fantasy novels - I get through more kids' stuff reading to my little girl (who is too disabled to do it for herself). Charlotte's Web is a book I've been aware of for nearly 40 years but somehow managed to avoid reading when I was little. We picked it up at the hospice last week and read the first half, then had to buy a copy at Waterstones yesterday to finish it off (59 years in print and it's still selling for £6.99 in paperback!) The book's a classic for good reason. It delivers an emotional but refreshingly unsentimental story with twists and turns, and inadvertantly lets us have a look at rural American life in the late 1940's. In addition to a strong and engaging story E.B White has powerful prose that doesn't confuse a child, but carries more weight than you're likely to see in most children's stories. There's a circle of life theme going on, the amusing and varied anthropomorphising of various animals, a county show and prizes to be awarded, oh my! But putting a welcome edge on all this is the bald fact that the pig you can see on the cover is balanced on a constant knife edge with people gearing up to reduce him to bacon and ham at every turn. And although there are tender moments in the story, it's never saccharine *slight spoiler* the rat never comes through with a change of heart, the little girl grows up and loses interest in the animals *end slight spoiler* All in all a fine children's book. Perhaps it I'd read it when I was 7 I'd be giving it 5* It also contains the saddest line in children's fiction:(view spoiler)[No one was with her when she died. (hide spoiler)] Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes .....

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    One of the great tear-jerkers of my long-lost childhood, the unlikely friendship between a spider and a pig makes for wonderful reading and a shared moment of love when reading it to kids. It is tender and teaches the values of constancy and integrity in a light, beautiful prose. A classic and a masterpiece.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Barbie

    My thoughts in a nutshell Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite childhood books. I watched it so many times and never got bored with it. The story is about… Skip over this point if you don't like the sneak peek. A little pig who wants to see the first show and who wants to live instead of becoming sausages. What impressed me the most This little story has many important feelings and lesson. It teaches us to respect other living creatures and how to live side by side in peace. It told about My thoughts in a nutshell Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite childhood books. I watched it so many times and never got bored with it. The story is about… Skip over this point if you don't like the sneak peek. A little pig who wants to see the first show and who wants to live instead of becoming sausages. What impressed me the most 😊 This little story has many important feelings and lesson. It teaches us to respect other living creatures and how to live side by side in peace. It told about humility and explained how important it is to have a great friendship. A friend who does anything to saved her little buddy’s life. A friend who once made a promise and now she will go through fire and water to keep her word. I’ve become such a sensitive little girl if the story is about an animal’s death. I’m feeling sorry about all of them. In my world, I think they have soul and they are sentinent beings. This book is an amazing classic, and it made me emotional. Haha. Make a conclusion I gave it 5 stars because it is perfect for me. It has a much valuable lesson and I really appreciate it. I recommend it to everyone who hasn’t read it. Wait a second! Why don’t you read it yet? Go to the library, NOW! Or watch the movie I recommend it too. Atmosphere collage aka. how did I imagine the book vibes?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dem

    My 8 years old self would have loved this book, I had been looking for an excuse to read this book for years and just realised on seeing it this week in a book shop that I didn't need an excuse to read it, I can just pick it up and indulge myself in little animal behaviour and so I enjoyed this beautiful story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. This book is so beautifully written and the illustrations in the copy I have just made it that much My 8 years old self would have loved this book, I had been looking for an excuse to read this book for years and just realised on seeing it this week in a book shop that I didn't need an excuse to read it, I can just pick it up and indulge myself in little animal behaviour and so I enjoyed this beautiful story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. This book is so beautifully written and the illustrations in the copy I have just made it that much better. Friendship and love are the central themes of Charlotte's Web, This is a terrific children's book which I think many adults like myself will appreciate the story as well and I am going to hold on to this copy as I hope if the future (long distant future) to take it out again and perhaps read to my grand children. I seem to have missed out on so many of these great books that I should have read as a child but as the saying goes " better late than never" and so nice to choose one to read every now and then.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    ". . . this lovely world, these precious days . . ." Charlotte, a spider I always get in the mood for this book when county fair season rolls around. Ah, the midway with it's dizzying rides and scary carny folk. The agriculture buildings featuring prize-winning giant produce and lovingly crafted quilts. And the yummy scents of frying dough competing with the much earthier smells emanating from the livestock tents. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired ". . . this lovely world, these precious days . . ." Charlotte, a spider I always get in the mood for this book when county fair season rolls around. Ah, the midway with it's dizzying rides and scary carny folk. The agriculture buildings featuring prize-winning giant produce and lovingly crafted quilts. And the yummy scents of frying dough competing with the much earthier smells emanating from the livestock tents. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell - as though nothing bad could ever happen again in the world. I always pay a visit to the cows, sheep and pigs temporarily housed there, and try not to think about how many of them are doomed, already auctioned off to local restaurants. With that sad fact in mind, is it any wonder how this fanciful tale can grip the imagination and tug at the heart . . . the story of Zuckerman's Famous Pig - Wilbur, the Pig Who Lived! The book begins with our hero narrowly avoiding the ax, saved from death by a young girl who promises to raise him. He grows and thrives under her care, but soon he's sentenced to a lonely life in a pen at her uncle's farm. But fret not, for he soon meets Charlotte, a large grey spider with an impeccable vocabulary. It is truly the beginning of a beautiful and unforgettable friendship. I know this is a childhood favorite for many readers, but I was introduced to these characters not through the book, but by the 1973 animated film. Because of this, I will always associate Paul Lynde's memorably snarky voice with Templeton the rat. "What's in it for meeee?" I should be ashamed to admit that I didn't read the book until 2011, but I'm not. I think I appreciated it more fully as an aging adult than I would have as a kid. Having lost some friends and both parents, I know how fleeting life can be and how important it is to grab onto every last experience and memory. How strange that it is the wisdom of a spider that reminds us of what matters most in our lives. No pig ever had truer friends, and he realized that friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world. Adding to the joy of the book are the sweet illustrations by Garth Williams. So thank you, Mr. White, for your most marvelous book. I can think of no other author who could make an arachnophobe like me shed tears over the death of a spider.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    Happy to see there's a book out there not representing spiders as being dreadful creatures. Super sweet story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I have been familiar with the story for most of my life, but never read it until now. Wilbur the pig is born a runt, and the farmer decides he must face the axe. Kind-hearted little Fern intercedes and saves him. She cares for the undersized pig, who later goes to a nearby farm. Wilbur's life is nearly idyllic until he discovers the fate that has been woven for him: he will likely be the next Christmas ham. Horrified, he looks desperately for a door of escape. His pleas for help are overhead by a I have been familiar with the story for most of my life, but never read it until now. Wilbur the pig is born a runt, and the farmer decides he must face the axe. Kind-hearted little Fern intercedes and saves him. She cares for the undersized pig, who later goes to a nearby farm. Wilbur's life is nearly idyllic until he discovers the fate that has been woven for him: he will likely be the next Christmas ham. Horrified, he looks desperately for a door of escape. His pleas for help are overhead by a large grey spider who is almost invisible in the doorway. She decides to try to alter the thread by which his destiny is hanging, but will she succeed? The barnyard animals, while displaying some human characteristics--Charlotte the spider can read and even has a smattering of Latin--behave like the animals they are. The geese are noisy and silly; the rat is sly and greedy; the pig is good-natured and always hungry; the spider, while kindly, is also an opportunistic and bloodthirsty killer The story is one of friendship, loyalty, and self-sacrifice. While at times it threatens to cross over into a sort of Victorian sentimentality, it never quite does, because the author injects touches of humour and irony into the portrayal of both animal and human characters.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    One of my favorite childhood memories is of reading this book with my mother. I remember how much I giggled at some of the funny situations and cried especially when we read it the first few times. Sobbing into my pillow with my mom rubbing my back I wondered why Charlotte had to die. My mom patiently explaining the gift Charlotte left for Wilbur. Even now I feel a bit of a lump in my throat. It was treasures like this that started my love of books and reading. I loved it so much I don't know One of my favorite childhood memories is of reading this book with my mother. I remember how much I giggled at some of the funny situations and cried especially when we read it the first few times. Sobbing into my pillow with my mom rubbing my back I wondered why Charlotte had to die. My mom patiently explaining the gift Charlotte left for Wilbur. Even now I feel a bit of a lump in my throat. It was treasures like this that started my love of books and reading. I loved it so much I don't know how many times I read it over the years. Such a timeless classic that will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. It was easy to understand and I loved the illustrations. The characters were so well developed and completely lovable. I wanted to move to a farm right away and have my very own baby pig. So many life lessons... It was all in there! The meaning of true friendship, love, life's adventures, miracles, death, trust, betrayal, sorrow and the passing of time. Enjoyable to both children and adults I hope everyone reads this book at least once in their lives. Truly a timeless classic.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Charlotte's Web, E.B. White Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams; it was published in October 15, 1952, by Harper & Brothers. The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as "Some Pig") in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: Charlotte's Web, E.B. White Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams; it was published in October 15, 1952, by Harper & Brothers. The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as "Some Pig") in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یکم ماه آگوست سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: کارتنک شارلوت؛ نویسنده: ئی.بی. وایت؛ مترجم: مهشید امیرشاهی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، کتابهای جیبی، انتشارات فرانکلین، 1350، در 173 ص، چاپ دوم 1353؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1383؛ در 168 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، پرنده آبی، 1395؛ شابک: 9786004362832؛ داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م دخترى به نام: «فرن»، خوکى به نام: «ویلبر» را، از مرگ نجات مى‌دهد، اما می‌داند که خوک، سرانجام به خاطر گوشتش، کشته خواهد شد. ویلبر در مزرعه ى عمو هومر، با عنکبوتى به نام: «شارلوت»، آشنا مى‌شود. شارلوت با بافتن واژه‌ هایی روى تورهایش، که ویلبر را با صفات عجیب و غریب توصیف مى‌کند، او را از مرگى که در انتظارش است، نجات مى‌دهد. ویلبر، مردم را از کشتزارها، و روستاهاى دور و نزدیک، به تماشاى خود مى‌کشاند، و سرانجام در مسابقه‌ ای در بازار مکاره، برنده مى‌شود. شارلوت، که نیرویش را با بافتن تورها از دست داده، ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    '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.” Wilbur is some pig who is Radiant and humble. On the top of that, he could do a mean back flip like the Karate Kid. But would you believe me if I said that this radiant pig was almost killed..... twice? This is Wilbur's remarkable journey from almost being bacon to a beacon in the community! But this is not just his Journey. It's about Fern, the little '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.” Wilbur is some pig who is Radiant and humble. On the top of that, he could do a mean back flip like the Karate Kid. But would you believe me if I said that this radiant pig was almost killed..... twice? This is Wilbur's remarkable journey from almost being bacon to a beacon in the community! But this is not just his Journey. It's about Fern, the little girl who saved Wilbur's life when he was just a runt, and it's about Charlotte, a smart and sweet spider who befriends Wilbur. And Charlotte can spell! It's like she has eaten a spelling bee! *wink wink* It's a great Children's book. If I were a kid, I would've loved it even more. And as an adult, (well, an almost adult) I loved the descriptions on summer (It was almost as if I could feel my childhood!) and Charlotte's protective instincts towards Wilbur. I was not quite sure about parts focusing on Fern. They seemed a bit off towards the end. Oddly enough, Charlotte also reminded me of the characters from Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. Well, food for thought. In the end, Charlotte's Web is a story about kindness and love. It's about reaffirming faith in a person's personality and values rather than appearances. And above all, It's about the value of friendship. TL:DR?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Update 6/2018: I will boldly assert here that I think this is the greatest children's book ever written, and I am embarking today on my 4th read of this classic. It is my youngest child's turn to discover the joys and sorrows of friendship and of life, as presented by one of my favorite writers, Mr. E. B. White. Rest in peace, Andy, you beautiful man. Original review: This is quite ridiculous, that I should read this, at 42-years-old, for the third time in my life, and end up blubbering hot tears Update 6/2018: I will boldly assert here that I think this is the greatest children's book ever written, and I am embarking today on my 4th read of this classic. It is my youngest child's turn to discover the joys and sorrows of friendship and of life, as presented by one of my favorite writers, Mr. E. B. White. Rest in peace, Andy, you beautiful man. Original review: This is quite ridiculous, that I should read this, at 42-years-old, for the third time in my life, and end up blubbering hot tears all over my face and down the front of my shirt. I can't get over that my youngest, at 5-years-old, sat through the entire book this week, mesmerized by the brilliant and timeless story-telling. She giggled, frequently, at the funny passages, and then she laughed at me, her grown mother, crying a river for the last 40 pages. I honestly cried to the point of being physically incapable of reading out loud. And then, as Charlotte's babies drifted away shouting "Good-bye! Good-bye! Good-bye!" my daughter's face contorted strangely and the next thing I knew, she was face down on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. This is one powerful story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David bernardy

    I grew up without reading this book. For some, that seems to be unimaginable. I can maybe understand why. My wife and I are reading it now, or I should say, I am reading it aloud before bed, and it's really wonderful. I could totally see why it would be a kind of life-formative book. I was reading a passage last night and laughing at it (there is so much in here that is really funny), and it made me wonder about the level of the humor. That is, would the kid me have thought this was funny or is I grew up without reading this book. For some, that seems to be unimaginable. I can maybe understand why. My wife and I are reading it now, or I should say, I am reading it aloud before bed, and it's really wonderful. I could totally see why it would be a kind of life-formative book. I was reading a passage last night and laughing at it (there is so much in here that is really funny), and it made me wonder about the level of the humor. That is, would the kid me have thought this was funny or is it my adult self? And I think probably the kid would have. This is all to say that reading it now, as an adult, it gives me an appreciation for kids' minds, and kids' books that take them seriously, even in their humor. I hope that all makes sense. I'm a late comer to the Harry Potter books, too, but was really delighted by them in some of the same ways. But--to get back to "Charlotte's Web"--there's a section about the end of summer, a couple chapters away from their Fair trip. White makes this lovely kind of song about the end of the season and the coming of Fall and the kind of beauty and dread and tinged sadness of it all. My god, it was affecting. That's something that I probably would not have picked up on as a kid, but I think that has more to do with kid-me than with most kids. I know my wife remembered that part distinctly, in fact it is one of the reasons we went back to this book now. We have recently moved from Minnesota, our home for about four years, and Fair Time there just passed. We really experienced the sort of sad beauty of summer's end there. In our new place in Chapel Hill it hasn't happened quite yet. It is still hot and very dry from drought, so I don't know if there will be that kind of fading moment or not. We'll have to see. Anyhow, when a book for kids (whatever--for all of us) can make you laugh and cry and think about the beautiful sadness of death--then, damn, what can you do but ramble?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    This is some book! This well-known classic kids’ book is all it’s cracked up to be. Charlotte is the nicest, wisest spider you’ll ever meet. Wish I could think of sweet Charlotte the next time I see a creepy crawly spider, but I’m sure the memory of her will go right out the window and I’ll run for my life, as always! Everyone should read this book. Well, probably every one has. But true confession here: When my teacher read the book to our class over a few weeks, my 8-year-old self daydreamed This is some book! This well-known classic kids’ book is all it’s cracked up to be. Charlotte is the nicest, wisest spider you’ll ever meet. Wish I could think of sweet Charlotte the next time I see a creepy crawly spider, but I’m sure the memory of her will go right out the window and I’ll run for my life, as always! Everyone should read this book. Well, probably every one has. But true confession here: When my teacher read the book to our class over a few weeks, my 8-year-old self daydreamed off every time! Yep, that’s me: the attention span of a shoo-fly! How did I do this, I want to know, since now, reading it more than 60 years later, I was completely captivated. I guess I wanted to give back what I didn’t allow myself to receive way back when: an amazing, heart-wrenching read! So I read the book to Eliska, the 10-year-old I kid-sit for. She had liked the movie so was up for a read-aloud. I did NOT appreciate it when, half-way into the story, she proudly blurted out the sad ending. The stinker—she knew what she was doing and she just wanted to see my expression—which, of course, was pure shock and dismay. She thought she was hilarious; I wish she had gotten the memo on spoilers. There’s so much good about this story about two friends: a spider, Charlotte, and a pig, Wilbur. Talking animals, quite a trip. There are stuttering geese; a wise-guy rat. The best part was Charlotte writing in her web, in the hope that she could save Wilbur. I loved the words she chose and how she acquired them. Tickled me to death—so ingenious! A good lesson in the power of words, the power of language. The first thing Charlotte wrote in the web was SOME PIG. WARNING: The rest of this so-called review is just a true story about the drama (seriously, not important drama) that occurred while I read this book. Proceed if you want, but I won’t be insulted if you ignore it. While I read, Eliska always does some craft. Once she made rubber-band earrings that could have mutilated my ears, but luckily she warned me, and I removed them the second I left the premises. This time, she decided to give me a tattoo. Oh, she did ask first, as she dangled the tattoo pens in my face. When I hestitated, she assured me that the tattoo would wash right off. I nodded okay, and she went to town on my wrist. I figured the tattoo would be the size of a dime, but as I read about the fate of Charlotte and Wilbur, I saw out of the corner of my eye that it was a multi-colored flower the size of a post-it note. Hm—that thing is BIG! I agained ask if she was sure it would come off. This time her story changed a little. “Oh, in a couple of days, for sure,” she says. What??? It hits me that she has no idea whether it will come off! What have I let her do? Am I nuts? I subdued my freakout and kept my head inside Charlotte’s Web. How my reading voice stayed calm I do not know. Eliska was done, and I have to say the tattoo was pretty. Next, she started going crazy painting her fingers with mulit-colored stripes. At first I thought they looked cool, but then I started seeing them through a mom’s (her mom’s) eyes and I realized they were pretty ugly—loud and bright brass knuckles, except they didn’t cover just the knuckles. Every square inch of her fingers was soaked in marker pen. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe mom would not appreciate the fact that I let her kid write all over her hands. Maybe I was in deep doo-doo. I started getting antsy and I asked Eliska, “Are you SURE these wash off?” She promptly went and washed off one finger and returned. Huge blue spots like bruises were what remained. It looked like she had USED the brass knuckles, for crying out loud. She giggled nervously as I gasped. “Well, if you scrub it with one of those hard brushes that you wash dirty nails with, more will come off,” she said. Like this would reassure me. We all know those brushes are nasty! Scrubbing my old wrist might scrub off the skin for all I know. We’re talking pain. And where to find such a brush in the first place? I don’t have one lying around. Freakout time! At this point I was more worried about Eliska’s painted fingers than my tattoo. What if her mom was furious? What kind of babysitter lets a kid drench her skin with ink? Maybe Eliska liked this new look so much that she’ll become a badass when she’s 18 and cover her body in tattoos. Her mom will blame me for sure—the babysitter with no sense, the babysitter who was too busy reading Charlotte’s Web to notice the kid ruining her soft, clear skin with ugly ink. Aha moment: maybe I should have had Eliksa draw graffiti on me that said, SOME BABYSITTER. Maybe instead of her mom being mad at me for letting Eliska loose with tattoo pens, she’d be impressed. Just like the world was impressed that Charlotte had written SOME PIG and it had saved Wilbur’s life. Yep, maybe a SOME BABYSITTER tattoo would save my job. I threw the idea out to Eliska, who was in the middle of deciding whether her next finger should have three or four stripes. She thought I was nuts—what was wrong with the beautiful flower she painted? Writing words wouldn’t be any fun! And come to think of it, it depends on how you interpret SOME BABYSITTER anyway. If you emphasize the “some,” you could mean “that was SOME babysitter, alright. She was a humdinger!” (i.e., bad). So maybe it was best that I didn’t steal Charlotte’s idea after all. It was the dad who came home and I didn’t see him notice Eliska’s hands. You better believe I was glad that it wasn’t mom who walked in that door. But I never heard a word about it. No news is good news. Eliska must have had an easier time removing the ink than I had thought. What about my tattoo? When I got home, I looked at it a lot but I didn’t try to remove it right away. I was afraid that if I did, I’d have a blue blob, like Eliska’s painted finger. I was trying to ignore it so that I’d chill. It didn’t help when my husband glanced at my arm and said, “What? You got a TATTOO?” No way I could pretend it never happened. I told him the story, adding, “It will wash right off,” though I didn’t for a second believe it. He was so excited, he took pictures and sent it out to our daughters, “Look, mom got a tattoo!” It horrified me that it looked that real. If the tattoo looks so real, does that mean it’s permanent? I kept telling myself that there was no way that Eliska’s mom would allow her to have permanent markers in the house, no way. I fretted—should I wait a few days before I tried to wash it off? No, that would be torture. I needed to know now. So after a few hours, I tried. And damn if the tattoo, the beautiful tattoo, didn’t disappear—completely. No scrubbing necessary, and no blue blob in sight. You know, I’ll always think of the tattoo whenever I think about Charlotte’s Web. That was some book. Wilbur was some pig. I was some babysitter.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    As I now join the million's of readers who have enjoyed this great book, I realize it truly is a book for ALL ages. Loved every minute of it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    TL

    No words I can say but this book is magical and beautiful and everyone should read it... a truly wonderful tale :) <3

  18. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    How I feel about spiders when I read Charlotte's Web: How I feel about spiders when I see one in my house: But I really do love this book. Charlotte A. Cavatica, you will live on my heart forever.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I have been listening to or reading Charlotte's Web since 1983. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Bunting, read this magical book to our class, and I can vividly remember sitting on my carpet square, entranced. Her reading that book to our class was the highlight of each day. Later that year, there was a movie in the theaters, and we went to see it as a class field trip. From my memory, everyone in class was excited about the book and the movie. This was book was that important in the lives of early I have been listening to or reading Charlotte's Web since 1983. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Bunting, read this magical book to our class, and I can vividly remember sitting on my carpet square, entranced. Her reading that book to our class was the highlight of each day. Later that year, there was a movie in the theaters, and we went to see it as a class field trip. From my memory, everyone in class was excited about the book and the movie. This was book was that important in the lives of early readers. I also remember the book fair that school year, and my mom allowed me to buy one book (and bookmark- these were the days of unicorns and rainbows, and my first bookmark had both. 🦄 🌈 ). I'm sure you can guess what my purchase was. My copy of Charlotte's Web was read more times than I could ever possibly keep track, and as some of my book friends know, even at age 6, I worked hard to keep that well-loved book in pristine condition. 😉 We still have my copy somewhere, and I'm on a mission to find it. All of that to say, when Audible had a sale recently on the audio read by E.B. White in the 1970s, I quickly bought it. You know an audio is good when you are instantly ready to listen to it again. There is nothing better than the author of THE perfect book reading his own perfect words. So much love and connection in his voice, tone, and inflection. Some books are full of magic that lives in your heart forever, and Charlotte's Web is certainly in mine. Summer 2017 Read #18

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Within 3 minutes of reviewing its Top 100 Novels Written in English List, I knew The Modern Library was irrelevant. That's because it failed to include CHARLOTTE'S WEB. I mean, I realize that children's literature is considered a joke by most intellectuals, but get serious. Anybody who reads this story and fails to recognize its greatness doesn't really like books, in my opinion. Not only does CHARLOTTE'S WEB feature one of the most ingenious plots in all of literature, its prose is breathtaking. Within 3 minutes of reviewing its Top 100 Novels Written in English List, I knew The Modern Library was irrelevant. That's because it failed to include CHARLOTTE'S WEB. I mean, I realize that children's literature is considered a joke by most intellectuals, but get serious. Anybody who reads this story and fails to recognize its greatness doesn't really like books, in my opinion. Not only does CHARLOTTE'S WEB feature one of the most ingenious plots in all of literature, its prose is breathtaking. Notice how White evokes the arrival of winter on the Zuckerman farm in one short paragraph: "The autumn days grew shorter, Lurvy brought the squashes and pumpkins in from the garden and piled them on the barn floor, where they wouldn't get nipped on frosty nights. The maples and birches turned bright colors and the wind shook them and they dropped their leaves one by one to the ground. Under the wild apple trees in the pasture, the little red apples lay thick on the ground, and the sheep gnawed them and the geese gnawed them and foxes came in the night and sniffed them. One evening, just before Christmas, snow began falling. It covered the house and barn and fields and woods. Wilbur had never seen snow before." I mean, what could be more evocative or sensual? And the fact that White does this in such simple language only underscores his reputation as a great writer. If you have fond memories of CHARLOTTE'S WEB from childhood, I urge you to read it again. I wish the folks at The Modern Library had before compiling their list.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shayantani

    It may sound weird but this is the first time I am reading this book. I don’t know how I missed out on it when I was a kid. Maybe it was the Famous 5 or Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Anyway, if I had read it as a kid I might have mustered some sympathy for Wilbur. Right now though, I am just mad. Such a whinny and annoying crybaby. Met enough people like him in real life. Poor Charlotte! My personnel bitchy nature aside, this book was amazing. A quick read, but it makes an impact. Beautiful lessons It may sound weird but this is the first time I am reading this book. I don’t know how I missed out on it when I was a kid. Maybe it was the Famous 5 or Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Anyway, if I had read it as a kid I might have mustered some sympathy for Wilbur. Right now though, I am just mad. Such a whinny and annoying crybaby. Met enough people like him in real life. Poor Charlotte! My personnel bitchy nature aside, this book was amazing. A quick read, but it makes an impact. Beautiful lessons on friendship and kindness. My favorite quote: “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.” At least Wilbur got that right! GO CHARLOTTE!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    I was 10 almost 11 the summer I first read Charlotte's Web. Understanding life and death, the cycle of life, is never an easy experience. Since very little we hear about death and we learn about people and things being born, the two extremes of that cycle. But learning is not understanding. Later, we perhaps get a baby brother or sister, as it was for me, or the neighbor's cat has kittens and one of those kittens comes to live in our house, to be out four-legged companion. And we start to I was 10 almost 11 the summer I first read Charlotte's Web. Understanding life and death, the cycle of life, is never an easy experience. Since very little we hear about death and we learn about people and things being born, the two extremes of that cycle. But learning is not understanding. Later, we perhaps get a baby brother or sister, as it was for me, or the neighbor's cat has kittens and one of those kittens comes to live in our house, to be out four-legged companion. And we start to understand what being born means. And as life goes on, we see plants and insects died, sometimes under the soles of an adult's shoe or even our own. If we are unlucky (or perhaps just not very lucky) a pet of ours would die when we are still very young, giving us a better understanding of what death means. So, understanding life and death is an endeavor that takes wonderful experiences and terrible experiences, and that is what Charlotte's Web is all about. One morning over breakfast, Fern sees her father heading outside, ax in hand, and asks an innocent question: “Where’s Papa going with that ax?” The answer is simple: He's going to kill the runt pig of the newest litter. Fern begs his father to spare the little piglet and she nurses him into a healthy pig, but it's Charlotte, the pretty but rather large and hairy spider living over Wilbur's nook, who really saves Wilbur's life, using words she weaves in her web. The words she uses describe how extraordinary Wilbur is. This ensures that everyone believes he really is an extraordinary pig, and consequently he becomes famous. He is not like any other pig and, therefore, will never share their fate. This is a book I've liked since the first time I read it, but that has much to offer to readers that are not children. It's a book that treats some of the hardest events of our lives with love and respect, helping us both understand and cope with such events. All in all, a wonderful read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ji

    I read this book three times and my opinion of the book has changed each time. The importance of this? Just think how complex and well written a book is if you can take different meanings from a novel at different stages of your life. Here is a mini recap of what I thought each time I read it... 4th Grade: Poor piggy! I'm glad he found a nice spider friend. I'm so sad that Charlotte died at the end! But I still hate spiders. 8th Grade: I guess it is a really good outlook on growing up... I didn't I read this book three times and my opinion of the book has changed each time. The importance of this? Just think how complex and well written a book is if you can take different meanings from a novel at different stages of your life. Here is a mini recap of what I thought each time I read it... 4th Grade: Poor piggy! I'm glad he found a nice spider friend. I'm so sad that Charlotte died at the end! But I still hate spiders. 8th Grade: I guess it is a really good outlook on growing up... I didn't realize until now how Fern spends less and less time with Wilbur as she grows older until now. Junior in College: ARGH! Why did I ever feel sorry for Wilbur? He's a cry baby! And poor Charlotte, always having to take care of whiny Wilbur. I don't blame Fern at all for not caring about her pet pig. (Unfortunately, my dislike for the annoying pig prevents me from giving it a higher rating. I hear enough whining in life, I don't need to hear it from a pig.)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    I could not stop myself from crying. I literally had tears in my eyes after I finished reading it. Charlotte was such a sweetheart. And Wilbur's innocence made him look cuter. These lines made me breakdown : "She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." One of the best stories of friendship I have ever read. Updated:09/28/2012 I watched the movie today and it is one of the best movies ever made. I cried like a I could not stop myself from crying. I literally had tears in my eyes after I finished reading it. Charlotte was such a sweetheart. And Wilbur's innocence made him look cuter. These lines made me breakdown : "She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." One of the best stories of friendship I have ever read. Updated:09/28/2012 I watched the movie today and it is one of the best movies ever made. I cried like a baby at the end of the movie. The movie is probably as good as the book is. It entered my all-time favourite movie list.

  25. 5 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    Saw the movie adaptation of this classic children's book a decade ago so I'm already familiar with the story. What I like about this book is how it reminds everyone about friendship, compassion, humility, courage, respect, gratitude; and even the concept of life and death was tackled. Young and adult readers will definitely appreciate and enjoy reading this. If you have time to read this one of a kind story, I highly recommend to squeeze it to your reading list.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    It took me almost one year to realize that I have loved this book all along.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Archit Ojha

    What a delightful book! Friendship, love, honesty, helping hands, utilizing your talent for a greater good, never giving up, keeping hopes high, embrace what life throws at you because in the end, things are going to be wonderful and if they not, then the ending is yet to come. I loved Charlotte's Web very much. I recommend it to people of each age group.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    ***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature*** I distinctly remember my grade one teacher, Doris Wright, reading Charlotte’s Web to us, a chapter or two per day. I suspect there was some snivelling when we reached the end of the tale. Boy, could I identify with the main human character, Fern. I grew up on a small farm like the ones in the book (without the work horses—we used tractors during my childhood) and it was primarily a hog farm. I was very familiar with how sweet baby pigs are. In ***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature*** I distinctly remember my grade one teacher, Doris Wright, reading Charlotte’s Web to us, a chapter or two per day. I suspect there was some snivelling when we reached the end of the tale. Boy, could I identify with the main human character, Fern. I grew up on a small farm like the ones in the book (without the work horses—we used tractors during my childhood) and it was primarily a hog farm. I was very familiar with how sweet baby pigs are. In fact, when children came to visit, my mom would assemble her camera and some old towels and we would head to the pig barn. She would scoop up a piglet in a towel, hand it to a child, and photograph the proceedings. That cute little round snout on a piglet is irresistible to a child—we have many photos of kids kissing piglets right on the snout! Mostly, however, we didn’t spend much time getting to know the pigs—they would be leaving after they were weaned, sold on to farmers who would raise them to market weight. Not a good idea to get too attached. I also had a spider phobia as a child (which has thankfully subsided as I’ve aged) and I do remember Charlotte being an example that I told myself about, trying to convince myself that spiders were not the horrible creatures that I had imagined them to be. Like Fern, I spend many happy hours in the barn, watching chickens, pigs, cows and horses. In fact, when I was about 3, my uncle gave me some duck eggs and a Bantam hen to incubate them. She hatched four ducklings from the eggs (and was quite distressed when her charges went swimming in mud puddles) and those ducks lived for many years! They would stand and quack at us when we were playing baseball if they wanted to cross the yard for some reason. When we paused the game, the ducks would quickly waddle across, as if they didn’t want to hold up play for very long. Farms have changed so much! Not just horses being replaced by tractors, but the mixed use family farm being lost in favour of large, single purpose farms. Wheat farms, chicken farms, intensive hog farms, cattle feed lots, etc. Fewer children learn to milk cows, gather eggs, and weed gardens. I feel like mine was an idyllic childhood and I’m so glad I grew up when I did. Charlotte’s Web was a great exercise in nostalgia for me, remembering all those wonderful childhood details.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    "Charlotte's Web" is SOME BOOK! A childhood favorite of mine. Brings back wonderful memories for me. A classic! :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    Charlotte's Web is a tender children's story with sweet insights about life, growing up, and mortality. It's a privilege to open a book and hear the timber of a gifted writer, whose voice was so simple that one wonders why this book was not hatched decades earlier. The author's voice remains unique enough to be distinctive from the crowds of pretenders that have succeeded him. I think what I've done in my review is describe a classic. Make no mistake, a classic Charlotte's Web is. The fact that Charlotte's Web is a tender children's story with sweet insights about life, growing up, and mortality. It's a privilege to open a book and hear the timber of a gifted writer, whose voice was so simple that one wonders why this book was not hatched decades earlier. The author's voice remains unique enough to be distinctive from the crowds of pretenders that have succeeded him. I think what I've done in my review is describe a classic. Make no mistake, a classic Charlotte's Web is. The fact that I like it, is mildly a catharsis for me.

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