White, E.B., & Williams, G. (illustrator). (1952). Charlotte’s Web. New York: Harper.
Wilbur is just a spring pig with a sad fate until he becomes friends with a spider named Charlotte, whose ability with words changes Wilbur’s life.
I read this book when I was a kid, and I remember loving it. Re-reading it, I can appreciate the appeal it has to children. There is a seamless transition between the conversations of the humans and those of the animals, making it a reality for animals to speak. As Dr. Dorian, one of the characters says:
“It is quite possible that an animal has spoken civilly to me and that I didn’t catch the remark because I wasn’t paying attention. Children pay better attention than grownups.” (p.110)
This story will likely appeal to any child or adult with a love of animals and nature, but its themes of friendship and life may also draw in many readers.
Charlotte’s Web is a classic and timeless story about “some pig,” and I’m sure that readers today will continue to enjoy it. Because of that I give it a 4.5 out of 5.