Thursday, June 27, 2013

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White


                                             Charlotte's Web

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Sixty years ago, on October 15, 1952, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web was published. It's gone on to become one of the most beloved children's books of all time. To celebrate this milestone, the renowned Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo has written a heartfelt and poignant tribute to the book that is itself a beautiful translation of White's own view of the world—of the joy he took in the change of seasons, in farm life, in the miracles of life and death, and, in short, the glory of everything.
We are proud to include Kate DiCamillo's foreword in the 60th anniversary editions of this cherished classic.

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.

Wilbur the pig is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte decides to help him.

My thoughts:
My two older children were reading this book for a book discussion group at the local library and I decided to check out the audio version of the book a day before their meeting to allow all my children to enjoy the story.  I don't know how many times I've read this book, and I know I have read it to or with my children before, but there is just something about it.  I tried to get my children to dig a little deeper into the story this time, since it is familiar at this point.  They've read it with me, at school, on their own and seen both versions of the movie so I wanted more than just what parts they liked and didn't.

The main things we narrowed it down to is that people are afraid of things they don't understand, as Charlotte tells Wilbur during the story and that words have power.  All it took was five words in Charlotte's web to save Wilbur.  He was "Some Pig", "Terrific", "Radiant" and "Humble".  We talked about using words and talking things out whenever possible before resorting any sort of physical or violent method of communication.  Later we went to the drive-in to see Man of Steel and the exact same line about people being afraid of what they don't understand was in the movie and my son turned to me and smiled, so at least I know he remembered what we talked about!

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064400558
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers                 
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 6 - 11 Years

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