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Charlotte's Web (1952)

by E. B. White

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
34,896100668 (4.2)1 / 623
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.
1950s (123)
Robin (4)
Read (13)

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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Fine Press Forum: Thornwillow Charlotte’s Web99 unread / 99L.Bloom, September 12

» See also 623 mentions

English (1,000)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (1,003)
Showing 1-5 of 1000 (next | show all)
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.
  PlumfieldCH | Sep 23, 2023 |
perhaps a perfect book. (5 stars)

from aug 2021:
how did i never actually read this before? i'm so enjoying these middle grade books that i get to read with my kid, and this one was no exception. i loved it. this was a beautiful story, and it was written so well. i always assumed this was more a story about a girl and her pig, but it turns out i was made to relate to and appreciate a spider, something that is no small feat. the public may have been led to believe that wilbur was some pig, and sure he seemed awfully lovable, but charlotte was really some spider. what a wonderful story of friendship and standing up for/protecting your friends. and it's written so well. all of the animals and all of the people are so relatable. i loved this. (4.5 stars) ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Sep 8, 2023 |
I couldn't finish this book and don't understand why everyone else thinks it is so great. And also - ew?spiders! ( )
  Kim.Sasso | Aug 27, 2023 |
“Life in the barn was very good- night and day, winter and summer, spring and fall, dull days and bright days. It was the best place to be, thought Wilbur, this warm delicious cellar, with the garrulous geese, the changing seasons, the heat of the sun, the passage of swallows, the nearness of rats, the sameness of sheep, the love of spiders, the smell of manure, and the glory of everything.”

This is one of the few children's books I currently own in traditional book form and I must admit I enjoyed the feeling of crisp paper between my fingers.

While the sweet story of a pig's unlikely friendship with a spider remains a perennial classic for kids, it also is appealing to adults. I had forgotten how much science and arachnid anatomy was incorporated into the story. White also gets in a few 'digs' at us humans. “Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.”

I cannot fail to mention Garth Williams adorable but mostly realistic illustrations. It would be difficult to imagine the story without the accompanying drawings.

Original date of publication: 1952
Newbery Medal Nominee ( )
  Ann_R | Aug 7, 2023 |
This is a beautiful but super sad story about love and friendship.

I read this book way back in my elementary school days, but I wanted to re-read it as an adult to see if it held up. I also stumbled across a copy in one of my closets while I was cleaning, so it seemed natural.

I will say this is truly a classic. It has aged so well and it still fits today's society. A little pig who loves his human friend and then makes friend with a spider. Her natural life cycle goes through, and he wants to love and protect her, and her children. It's so tender, so sweet and so utterly heartbreaking. It shows the true power of friendships and love. Life can be so short, so we might as well be kind to people.

It's a well made story and I'm so glad I read it again. It truly was a real treat! I can see why school curricula pick it up. It definitely didn't get the best treatment in my learning, but it will have all of my love and respect now.

I definitely feel this is a book you should pick up once as a kid and then once as an adult. The themes stay the same but your viewpoints will change. I used to relate so much to Wilbur, but as an adult I feel so much for Charlotte.

Ah, so beautiful.

Five out of five stars. ( )
  Briars_Reviews | Aug 4, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 1000 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
White, E. B.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, MacLeodNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bos, TjallingTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, DannyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cramer-Klett, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DiCamillo, KateForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, HazelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farr, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrari, AntongionataIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, TaviaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heyborne, KirbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoppe, LincolnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaVoy, JanuaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, RobinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rankin, EmilyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Streep, MerylNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, MelissaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wells, RosemaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, GarthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Canonical title
Original title
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Important places
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
This is the tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider called Charlotte, saved her pig, Wilbur, from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.
Haiku summary
Wilbur is a runt,
Zuckerman plans to eat him,
Can Charlotte save him?
Charlotte the spider
Saves Wilbur by inventing
Viral marketing.
In Earth unworthy,
In danger near Christmastime,
But one spider helps.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141317345, 0141316047, 0141333383


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