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Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Charlotte's Web (original 1952; edition 2001)

by E. B. White, Rosemary Wells (Illustrator), Garth Williams (Illustrator)

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17,322435100 (4.19)353
Title:Charlotte's Web
Authors:E. B. White
Other authors:Rosemary Wells (Illustrator), Garth Williams (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2001), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:American Classics, Childrens

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Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (Author) (1952)

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Great classic to teach students about friendship and values. Also can be used to teach about sacrifice, mortality, and the circle of life. I would use this book in many ways, to read aloud to kids during teacher reading time, or have a class set and have students read their own copy. Wonderful classic to use in the classroom. Still very relevant to things we want to teach students.
  hugo.johnson | Aug 14, 2014 |
Wilbur the pig befriends Charlotte the spider, who decides to save his bacon by writing great things about him in her web.

This was a beloved book from childhood that I recently reread to my son. Even after all these years, the book holds up. It is just as sweet a portrayal of true friendship as I remember. It is also a meditation on life and what makes it worth living. (Spoiler alert: it's the simple things, good friends, the change in seasons, appreciating the things around you.) I was surprised on this reading that there was so much mention made of death, especially with reference to Wilbur's impending violent death in order to become food for the table. Well, these are the facts of life on a farm, and since my 6-year-old is already very curious about death, it seems like a good idea to expose him to literature that tackles the topic head on, in an accessible way for kids.

The only part in which he teared up was at the very end, when Charlotte's babies are ballooning away. The thought of Wilbur being left friendless and alone quite distressed him. Fortunately, three of her daughters stayed, and Wilbur never lacked for spider friends.

My favorite part of this story was as a child and remains the county fair. White really brings all the sensory experiences of the fair to life, and the excitement of being a child at the fair. I also carry a soft spot for Templeton the rat, unabashed glutton that he is.

Charlotte's Web remains a classic and a worthy addition to my son's bookshelf.

Read aloud to my son in 2014. ( )
  sturlington | Aug 10, 2014 |
I've always loved [b:Charlotte's Web|24178|Charlotte's Web|E.B. White|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386925651s/24178.jpg|987048], and I've now read it aloud to my kids several times. This most recent time was at the request of my youngest. [a:E.B. White|988142|E.B. White|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1198519412p2/988142.jpg], as one would expect, is such a master wordsmith in his children's books. He paints a beautiful, picturesque vision of farm life in mid-20th century America. And he employs one of my favorite techniques of children's authors: the absurdly long list of items. [a:Tolkien|656983|J.R.R. Tolkien|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1383526938p2/656983.jpg] and [a:Lewis|1069006|C.S. Lewis|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1367519078p2/1069006.jpg] and many other authors use this technique, and it's always fun for read-alouds. In this most recent readthrough, it struck me that there is an uncomfortable balance between the idea that life is miraculous, spiritual, religious, and the idea that life is purely naturalistic--beautiful, full of wonder, but really just life working itself out the way it can and will. I think the dominant theme is the miraculousness of everyday life, and that's a theme that most definitely resonates with me. But I also see a more subtle competing notion: that it is only the humans in the story who in their naivete want to see "everyday miracles" as signs of something bigger in life. It's the reader who is let into "the real story"--that the writing in the web is not a miracle that points to a compassionate God, but rather it is just animals who, after all, are a lot smarter and more capable than dull humans give them credit for. The web miracle didn't require God's intervention; it's just nature doing what nature is always capable of, if only we understood. In the end, it's the spider--the wisest character in the story--who gives the final word on the real meaning of life: "After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die" (164). The bleakness of this line goes down easier with the sugar-coating of the story that has surrounded it, but it is not an especially cheery sentiment for a children's story. That perspective on the story raises complicated issues that I hadn't considered in previous readings of Charlotte's Web. An issue that bothers me in the story is the character trajectory of Fern. It always seems horrible to me that by the end of the story she doesn't even care enough about Wilbur to be with him when he receives his award. I accept that she will grow up eventually, but in less than a year she has grown up far too quickly. There's no reason to make her, at age 8, suddenly so interested in boys that she neglects other responsibilities. As the story ends, Avery has come into his own as the more responsible--and ultimately, probably more interesting--character. ( )
  ethnosax | Aug 8, 2014 |
Summary: A sensitive soul rescues a runt pig from being murdered. She cares for him, until it is time for "Wilbur" to go live on the farm. Wilbur escapes being slaughtered by having a rat, "Templeton," tear words out of newspapers to give to his friend. Wilbur's friend Charlotte, who is a spider, then spins a web with the word from the article in it. Wilbur gets the credit for all of the works and the farmer is convinced it is a genius pig.
Person Reaction: As a lover of all things that live, this story has touched me since I was a young girl. It was my first chapter book I remember not being able to put down. I am not sure if it is the comical talking animals, the quirky pig, or the softhearted soul of a little girl, maybe all three, but this story is a timeless classic. It is one that can be related to by any young person.
Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Have the children look up a word in the dictionary and write it in their own spider web. Then they can learn the word and its meaning and use it in a sentence.
2. I can bring in a pig or goat of mine, something to represent the animals in the story. Maybe even a little spider.
  copeland86 | Jul 19, 2014 |
This book is about a little girl, Fern who saves the runt of the pig litter and raises him up until her father sales him to her uncle. She still goes and see the pig, Wilbur everyday. One day Wilbur finds out what is going to happen to him when he gets fat enough, he will be butchered. The pig makes friends with a friendly spider, Charlotte. Together they come up with a plan to save Wilbur. In the end Wilbur is save and Charlotte lays her eggs and parishes away. Wilbur takes the eggs and make sure they are safe.
Personal Reaction
This book is a classic and so popular. I have always loved this book and think it will always be around for children to enjoy for years to come!
Idea extensions
This book can be used to explain death of animal and how it is a natural thing.
It can teach things about farm life.
It also shows how children grow up, like how Fern became less interested in animals and more in a certain boy.
  christa15 | Jul 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 430 (next | show all)
"Charlotte's Web" is a classic story about a wise spider. An extension would be to discuss with the class a time when they helped out a friend by using their skills.
added by courtneyemahr | editCourtney E. Mahr
This book has liveliness and felicity, tenderness and unexpectedness, grace and humor and praise of life, and the good backbone of succinctness that only the most highly imaginative stories seem to grow.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
White, E. B.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, GarthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
On foggy mornings, Charlotte’s web was truly a thing of beauty. This morning each thin strand was decorated with dozens of tiny beads of water. The web glistened in the light and made a pattern of loveliness and mystery, like a delicate veil. (77)
“Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture pond. The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy. Wilbur – this lovely world, these precious days…” (164).
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that” (164).
Every day Wilbur would stand and look at the torn, empty web, and a lump would come to his throat. No one had ever had such a friend – so affectionate, so loyal, and so skillful. (173)
Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch. (176)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Charlotte’s Web is a great story that I still so vividly remember reading in school. I truly believe it is a timeless classic. This book offers so many meanings for the reader to reflect upon and thoughts to grow on if children are given the opportunity. I also think the story brings in a great opportunity to expand and explore vocabulary. I just finished reading this story to my son who is first grade. I think I should have waited to read this when he was older, but I do think he enjoyed it.
Haiku summary
Wilbur is a runt,
Zuckerman plans to eat him,
Can Charlotte save him?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064410935, Paperback)

An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. A prancing, playful bloke, Wilbur is devastated when he learns of the destiny that befalls all those of porcine persuasion. Determined to save her friend, Charlotte spins a web that reads "Some Pig," convincing the farmer and surrounding community that Wilbur is no ordinary animal and should be saved. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle often found in the simplest of things.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:16 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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.

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141317345, 0141316047, 0141333383

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