EB White: Charlotte’s Web

This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children’s literature that is “just about perfect.” This paperback edition includes a foreword by two-time Newbery winning author Kate DiCamillo.

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. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, among many other books.

One of the great things about doing NoBloWriMo is that it gives me a chance to fit in some of the stuff I’ve had on my list that I haven’t gotten to. Charlotte’s Web is a very old favorite of mine–and one of the reasons I love pigs so much! I picked up a near mint copy of the paperback copy I had as a kid at a booksale.

This book is full of so much nostalgia to me, and nothing is better on a day when I’m not feeling great. Sometimes, I just need a simple story about a talking pig and his spider best friend.

Of course, I can’t help but look at things a little differently now–Charlotte totally doesn’t get the credit she deserves. And when she does, every notice who it is who does pay attention to her, vs who gives credit to Wilbur? There’s definitely a division there.

One more thought…I really don’t understand Fern’s character development. This book only takes place in a year’s time, so she’s only 8-9, right? It’s not like she ages from 8 to 15–then I would understand wanting to run off with Harry Fussy. At 9, this little girl would still be totally obsessed with the pig she raised–at least the little girl who was so obsessed she was literally having conversations with the barnyard animals. I dunno, that part just never really made sense to me.

Even with its faults, I’m still gonna love it to the day I die. Sometimes nostalgia beats all, and this radiant pig will always have my heart.

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