Charlotte's Web - Story Snug
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Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

I read Charlotte’s Web as a child but had forgotten the story and how it ends. It was lovely to read it again with my daughter who enjoyed hearing about Wilbur, the pig, Charlotte, the spider, and our favourite character, Templeton, the rat.

The Story: Fern rescues Wilbur, the runt of the litter, and he goes to live on Mr Zuckerman’s farm where he will be fattened up to be eaten. Wilbur becomes friends with the farmyard animals including a grey spider called Charlotte. When Charlotte hears of Wilbur’s plight she weaves the words ‘Some Pig’ into her web. This causes Wilbur to become a celebrity! Further messages on Charlotte’s web ensure that Wilbur receives an outstanding award at the County Show and his future is secured. Wilbur returns to the farm without Charlotte but takes her newly laid eggs, ensuring that he will have her children for company.

Charlotte’s Web includes a colourful cast of animal characters including a goose who constantly repeats herself and Templeton, the rat, who, despite being bad tempered, will do anything for food. He makes us laugh especially when Charlotte sends him to the dump to find new words to weave into her web, crunchy isn’t a word that gives the right impression but finds a washing powder advert which gives her a word she can use!

The main theme in Charlotte’s Web’s is friendship. Central to the story is the friendship between Wilbur and Charlotte but Fern’s loyalty to the little pig also plays an important role in the story. Fern’s mother is concerned about Fern spending so much time at the farm with Wilbur and the other animals so she is delighted when Fern starts spending time with a friend, Henry Fussy.

Charlotte’s Web was first published in 1952 and portrays a world where farming was done without the use of technology and children played outside unsupervised. It took my daughter a few chapters to become really interested in the book but then she wanted me to keep reading until the end. She learnt about what pigs eat (she was fascinated by the idea of slops), the dirty habits that rats have and we talked a lot about spiders, how long they live, how they lay their eggs and how they spin their webs (we found it funny when Wilbur tried to spin his own web!). Another of our favourite chapters was when Wilbur tried to prove to Charlotte that he was radiant so that she could write the word in her web.

We really enjoyed reading Charlotte’s Web. The story moves at a gentle pace but it is amazing how much action can take place in one farmyard!

Age Range: 6+

Author: E.B.White / Illustrator: Garth Williams

Charlotte’s Web is the second book that we have read for the 2015 Classics Challenge.

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32 responses to “Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White”

  1. Kim Carberry avatar

    This is such a lovely story! A classic! I remember reading it as a child and loving it and my eldest has read it several times….

    1. Catherine avatar

      I love it too. I must read Stuart Little again too 🙂

  2. Tiffiny avatar

    What a classic! I would read this to my students when I taught fourth grade. They always loved it. I think this book gives everyone a better appreciation for spiders. Thanks for your thorough review.

    1. Catherine avatar

      Yes, Charlotte’s Web does give spiders a good name 🙂

  3. Carolyn avatar

    E.B. White was the first author to really turn me on to reading as a child! For me it was Trumpet of the Swan. 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      I’ve not heard of Trumpet of the Swan before. I’m intrigued to read it now I’ve read a review 🙂

  4. Joyce Tucker avatar

    Charlotte’s Web is truly one of my very favorite books. It deals with so many important issues for children. Now I have grandbabies that I can share it with all over again!
    Visiting via Kid Lit Blog Hop

    1. Catherine avatar

      How lovely to share a well loved story with another generation 🙂

  5. Sharon Powell avatar

    I’ve never read Charlotte’s web but I have watched the film and enjoyed that. I would love to read it though x

    1. Catherine avatar

      I haven’t watched the film, I’m not sure that I will now I’ve read the book although I am curious to see how they portray the two main characters.

  6. Brittany avatar

    Great choice – what a favorite classic book! You know, I really like what you said about how this book was published when children really had no other choice than to play outside and get dirty. Great review!

    Stopping by via Kid Lit Blog Hop!

    1. Catherine avatar

      Thanks Brittany! I guess Charlotte’s Web was written before families had televisions 🙂

  7. Julie Anne Grasso avatar

    We picked up a copy at our local second hand bookseller a few months ago and I am looking forward to when Gigi will be of an age to read it.
    Great review, and I believe I had forgotten the story entirely. Thanks for joining us on the Kid Lit Blog Hop

    1. Catherine avatar

      I had forgotten a lot of the story too, it was lovely to read it again 🙂

  8. Louise avatar

    I loved reading Charlotte’s Web as a child – it was one of my favourites and I loved Wilbur. I might have to go and dig out my copy and re-read it now… 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      Charlotte’s Web is definitely a story you can read many times 🙂

  9. Jo Laybourn avatar

    Ooh I remember reading Charlotte’s web many moons ago a school! Great book!

    1. Catherine avatar

      I think that Charlotte’s Web was one of the stories that my teacher read to me at primary school.

  10. Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life avatar

    I used to love this story, I have not read it in years. I can not wait to be able to read it again with my little ones when they are old enough x #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It was a long time since I read it too 🙂

  11. chantelle hazelden avatar

    Aaaa I remember reading this as a child, I really should introduce my children to it too!!! thanks for sharing with #readwithme x

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a lovely one to share, I couldn’t remember much of the story at all although I know I read it as a child.

  12. Emma | My Book Corner avatar

    You just can’t beat the classics! It’s wonderful to experience going back to them again … & sharing them with little ones so they can experience them for the first time too.

    1. Catherine avatar

      Sharing classics with little people is lovely and hopefully we’re creating some great memories that will be treasured forever.

  13. Single Mother Ahoy avatar

    I’ve actually never read Charlotte’s Web. No idea how that happened. Am looking forward to S being old enough to read it together!
    Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

    1. Catherine avatar

      Charlotte’s Web is a lovely book to read aloud, it’s lovely to share classic stories with your children 🙂

  14. Bek Dillydrops avatar

    This is a classic but sadly one I have not read more than a couple of chapters of. I would love to read it all one day though. I think my children would love it to be read to them. Thank you for reminding me of it. #WeekendBlogHop

    1. Catherine avatar

      Do read it all! It starts off quite slowly but the drama does pick up as you read.

  15. Sarah James avatar

    I love Charlotte’s web, one of my favourite children’s books. So long since I read it, reckon it’s time to read again 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s definitely one of those books that stands up to repeated reading 🙂

  16. Barbara Ann Mojica avatar

    I love all the characters in this story, but Charlotte has to be my favorite.

    1. Catherine avatar

      Charlotte is lovely (but feisty!) but somehow it is Templeton that steals the show for us!