171. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Pictures by Garth Williams. Watercolor artwork by Rosemary Wells. (Canada) - (US)

Pages: 184
Ages: 8+
Finished: Jul. 29, 2011
First Published: 1952 (this colourized edition 1999)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: children, animal fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.

Acquired: Purchased a copy through an online retailer.

Reason for Reading:   Read aloud to ds.

I'll keep this one short.  There must be thousand's of reviews already of this modern classic.  The edition that I have is the hardcover reprint with the gently colourized original illustration by Rosemary Wells, a beautiful book and a keeper for my personal library.  This was my first re-read since my original reading as a child and it struck me again as being a wonderful book so full of feeling, even though I'd seen the cartoon movie year after year as a child.  I was surprised that Fern wasn't really that big a part of the story as I had expected her to be and Templeton was all Paul Lynde to me.  I heard his voice every time he spoke!

This was my son's first exposure to Charlotte's Web.  I've kept him away from the new version of the movie purposely until we'd read the book and the animated version just doesn't show up on TV like it used to.  I wouldn't say say he absolutely loved it.  He didn't cry are feel bad at the end, at all.  It was very much "c'est la vie" for him.  But he did laugh at all the funny parts and enjoyed Wilbur as a character the most.  Oh, and the geese, he loved their double talk!  So he enjoyed the book and we've got a hold on the animated movie version at the library to watch and will watch the newer real life version if he's interested afterwards for comparison. (I personally do not like talking animal movies).  For myself it was a great enjoyment to re-acquaint myself with the original book and remember why E.B. White was such a beloved children's author.  Why did he have to leave us with only three children's books, though??  That is the sad part.  The Trumpet of the Swan is still my favourite of the three.


  1. I loved, loved, loved Charlotte's Web as a child, and it was only yesterday that I thought I should really read this to my son.

    As for White's other books, I was almost emotionally crushed a couple years back when I read Stuart Little to my daughter and realized that White wasn't the infallible genius I thought he was. I couldn't stand it. As for The Trumpet of the Swan, I haven't read it yet.

  2. I don't like Stuart Little either, now, but I must admit I did like it as a kid. It's been a long time since I've read it though so I can't remember my degree of dislike (LOL) Dh already read it to ds but I'll be re-reading it sometime so I have all 3 books reviewed on the blog. But my order is Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little.

    Abel's Island by William Steig is a much, much better little mouse story than Stuart Little. Have you read that one? My son enjoyed it.

  3. This was always one of my favourite books as a child. I am glad you enjoyed it!

  4. I haven't read that one, but if we're talking mouse stories, I loved Beverly Cleary's mouse books (Ralph S. Mouse and the Mouse and the Motorcycle).


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